BEAUFORT – Cecil Wilbur Martin Jr., Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather, age 79, of Beaufort, passed in his sleep the morning of Friday, December 6th, 2013 at home.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Janice Wynne Martin of Beaufort, his children, Dr. Ron Martin DVM, and Teresa Martin Seigler, both of Beaufort, his grandson, CPT Steven P. Seigler of Elgin, SC, his granddaughter Ella Parton of Athens, GA, three other grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Cecil was born in 1934 in Fort Valley (Peach County) Georgia to the late Cecil W. Martin Sr. and Rhunette Hinson Martin. Cecil was an accomplished athlete who played both on the offensive and defensive line in football for Fort Valley High School and was selected as a high school All American in 1951, the same year he was part of a state championship football team. Cecil refused scholarships to 3 very competitive colleges in order to marry his high school sweetheart in 1952, to whom he remained married until his death. Cecil never received a college education, but took his intellect and can-do attitude into the business world, earning an apprenticeship at Robbins AFB, GA , which allowed him to hold several positions as an engineer, though he only had a high school diploma. Cecil worked for the Department of Defense for nearly 30 years, and was a pioneer in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research and development when he worked for Gyrodyne Aeronautics on the QH-50C and D Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopters in the 1960’s. His career path included various assignments all across the United States, including Norfolk, VA and San Diego, CA, service to several branches of the military and work on the F-4 Phantom and FA-18 Hornet.
Cecil moved to Beaufort in 1974 with his job as a civil service engineer at MCAS, from which he retired in 1989. Cecil was a lifelong public servant and served Beaufort County in many ways until just before his death. Though he never held public office, he was Chairman of the Burton Fire Commission for many years, as well as a member of the Quality Growth Committee which produced the 1997 version of the Beaufort County Comprehensive plan. He also served as campaign manager for several county council members, and supported various politicians as a behind the scenes key part of several initiatives for the benefit of Beaufort county. Always a driven individual, he held real estate brokers licenses in both North and South Carolina for most of his later life. Along with his brother the late James Robert Martin, they founded and operated Athena Marble Company until its sale in the early 1990’s. He was also a partner with Doyle Qualls (of Q Enterprises) in the building and sale of many properties in the Beaufort area. Cecil was a devout Christian and founding member of Community Bible Church in 1982, and remained an active member until his death.
Cecil will be honored at a Memorial Service on Friday, December 13th at 1100 a.m. at Community Bible Church, Friends and Family are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Community Bible Church in his honor.