Dr. Edmund Clyde Martin, Sr., 89, died on Tuesday, May 22, 2012.
He was born March 8, 1923, the son of the late Webb and Winnie Wood Martin at his home on Tanner's Mill Road in Chestnut Mountain, Ga. He attended Chestnut Elementary, then Oakwood High School.
Although many students at that time dropped out of school after 9th grade, his father valued education, so he rode a bus to Chestnut Mt. Elementary then boarded another bus to go to Oakwood High. He continued his education at the University of Georgia, first with a Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture, then his Bachelor of Science in Education, his Master's Degree in Education, his Specialist Degree in Educational Administration, and finally his Doctoral Degree in Education in 1964.
In fact, Dr. Martin's true vocation was education. After having served in the army during World War II, he taught agriculture classes. This was to be his first job of many dealing in education in the state of Georgia. He became the principal of the Maysville schools from 1950-1952, then the principal of Ila Elementary from 1953-54. From 1954-1958 he served in Hartwell, Ga., first as the principal of all Hartwell schools and then as principal of Hart County High School. He moved to Cartersville, Ga., in 1958 where he was the principal of the Cartersville City schools, a position which included overseeing many schools at different levels. In 1960 he was named the Superintendent of the Cartersville Schools.
In 1965 Martin's role in Georgia education expanded even more as he was named the Executive Director of the Georgia Educational Improvement Council. Here he served as a major leader and reformer of Georgia education until his retirement in 1978. In this role he routinely worked with the legislature and the governor's office to author educational legislation and to study the impact these bills would have on the future of Georgia education. One of his major accomplishments during his tenure on the Council was authorship of the Adequate Progress for Education in Georgia (APEG) bill in 1974. This bill (somewhat like a pre-No Child Left Behind bill) recognized the importance of educational opportunity for all, creating equal distribution of funding to public schools and setting minimum achievement standards for all students. As the Executive Director, Martin routinely worked with important leaders of Georgia and was even consulted by presidents, such as Presidents Nixon and Carter, for suggestions on cabinet nominees. His influence went global when he was invited to Russia to observe the educational system there.
Upon his retirement from the Educational Improvement Council in 1978, the Georgia legislature declared a resolution honoring his service. However, even after Dr. Martin retired to his beloved Lake Lanier home in 1978 to boat, fish and entertain his three grandchildren, he continued to dabble in education, teaching Political Science classes at Brenau University, Perimeter College and Oglethorpe University. He also served on the board at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and worked for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the primary accreditation agency for eleven states in the south.
In 2001 Dr. Martin sold his lake home to move to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., where he finally truly retired and enjoyed relaxing in his backyard palm tree oasis, taking worldwide trips and walking on the beach. He returned to Tucker, to be close to his family in 2007 and especially enjoyed weekly dinner outings with his children.
Dr. Martin was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Lawrence Wayne and Winfred Martin.
Survivors include children, Barbara Joan Hill and her husband Loren (Tucker), and Ed Martin and his wife Diane (Flowery Branch); three grandchildren and their spouses, Jennifer Slater and her husband Mike (Acworth), Edmund Daniel Martin and his wife Leslie (Houston, Texas), and Christina McNeal and her husband Leslie Vaughn (Tupelo, Miss.); one great-grandchild, Mackenzie Lee Slater (Acworth); one sister, Daisy Martin (Chestnut Mountain); and several nephews, Ralph Wayne and his wife Marti (Austin, Texas), Glen Martin and his wife Martha (Pendergrass), Gilbert Martin and his wife Vivian (Chestnut Mountain); and a niece, Gayle Patrick and her husband Will (Chestnut Mountain).
Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, May 25, at 2 p.m. in the chapel of Memorial Park Funeral Home with interment to follow in Memorial Park Cemetery. The Rev. Darin Vogt will officiate. The family will receive friends on Thursday, May 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorial Park Funeral Home, Gainesville, is in charge of arrangements.