On January 16, 2020, William Richard, “W.R.” Martin left his friends and family to meet his Lord and Savior. If you are wondering if you ever met him, then you obviously didn’t, or you wouldn’t have forgotten him. He was a man who could tell stories that held everyone spellbound. He published his first and only book in 2015. Family and friends made it a sellout twice. Copies of his book are said to be priceless.
WR, known to his friends from childhood as “XY”, was born on May 9, 1934 to Roy J. and Mary Emma Martin in McComb. He soon moved to Durant, MS where he would meet his future beloved wife, Sara Nabers Martin. They eloped to Sidon, MS and married New Year’s Eve 1952. After marriage, WR enlisted in the Air Force and later went on to serve in the Mississippi National Guard for thirty-three long years from which many of his stories evolved-guaranteeing to hold many a Guard member in line. He retired a Lt. Colonel and always had guard stories to tell.
We would be remiss not to add that he loved America, President Donald Trump and Fox News.
He was an active member of the Old Soldiers Club and always looked for a chance to schedule some fellowship lunches with his fellow soldiers.
They made lifelong friends in Durant and have continued the tradition of attending the Durant Tiger Club meetings.
WR went on to graduate from Mississippi State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was an entrepreneur, owning several successful small businesses and he
managed multiple manufacturing sites throughout the state. He sold his last business in 2010 & wished the new owner great success.
He was always of the Baptist faith but for a few years where he slid over with the Methodists. For the past fifteen years he and Sara had been faithful members of Highland Colony Baptist Church in Ridgeland.
Fish feared WR. He was an avid fisherman who loved spending time with cane pole or reels, crickets, minnows or lures. If you were lucky enough to be invited to accompany him- you better bring your supper because he was known to hold many a friend, son or daughter-in-law hostage if the fish were biting.
WR and Sara had four children whom life was centered around. Betty Anne Robertson of Ridgeland, MS (Bill- Deceased), William Richard “Ricky” Martin (Deceased), Roy Martin of Vicksburg, MS, and David Martin of Madison (Deborah).
They also had eight beloved grandchildren- one granddaughter and seven grandsons. His grandchildren have many stories & precious memories of time spent with their grandfather. Some of their escapades their parents never knew about at the time they happened but since then have become treasured memories. His grandchildren include Jennifer Robertson of Hattiesburg, MS, Richard Martin of Denver, Colorado, Marty Robertson of Ridgeland, MS, Matt Robertson (Stephanie) of Edwards, MS, Walt Martin (Desha) of Saucier, MS, Will Martin (Cameron) of Madison, MS, Sam Martin (Hart) of New Albany, MS, and Rob Martin of Oxford, MS. They also have three great grandchildren- Mae Martin, Rowan Robertson and Aris Martin.
He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Pattie Smith (Paul) of Grenada and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Roy Martin and Van Gene Martin.
Services will be held Saturday, January 18, 2020 with visitation from 11:30-1:00 and services to follow at Durant First Baptist Church .
Memorials may be made to Durant First Baptist Church or Highland Colony Baptist Church in Ridgeland.