Eugene Frederick William Martin

by Lynn McMillen
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Dr. Eugene Frederick William Martin, 80, passed away at home on Thursday, October 5th, 2023, after a short but valiantly fought battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Judi Bly Martin; son David Scott Martin (Kim); daughter Karen Martin Cole (Dennis Lundblad); stepdaughters daughter Heather Crank (Barret) and Shannon Bly; granddaughter Kendall Martin; grandsons Patrick Martin (Callie), Wyatt Martin, Mitchell Crank, Christian Crank, and Max Bly.

Gene was the epitome of a lifelong learner; he translated that love of learning into a teaching career that touched the lives of thousands of teachers and students. After graduating from Prospect High School in 1961, he earned a BS in Biology and Chemistry from Central Methodist University in 1965, then completed his masters and doctoral degrees in Education/Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri at Columbia. In 1972, he joined the faculty of the College of Education at Mississippi State University, where, with his first wife, Nancy Wallner Martin, he received a federal grant to establish MSU’s Child Service Demonstration Center, a teacher-preparation facility that provided tutoring to countless community children.

Preceded in death by his beloved Nancy, Gene reconnected with Judi, his college sweetheart from his Central Methodist days. They married later that year, their love story having come full circle.

Gene’s hobbies were automobiles, motorcycles, and Cushman scooters. He was active for years in the Southern Cruisers Car Club, the Cushman Club of America, and the Southeastern Cushman Club; designed the original websites for each organization. He also served for 20 years as the secretary of the Golden Triangle Crimestoppers and was a member of Fellowship Baptist Church.

The family particularly wishes to thank Dr. John King, the staff at North Mississippi Medical Center’s Hematology and Oncology office in Starkville; and the doctors and nurses at Baptist Hospice. Finally, we want to express our profound gratitude to John McMurray, whose friendship and care have been invaluable to us all.

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