Joseph C. Martin

joseph martin
Joseph C. Martin, 91, passed away peacefully, Friday, October 13, 2017 with his family at his side. Joe was born in Dawson Springs, KY in 1926. The only son of Joseph and Claudia Wright Martin. He graduated from Centre College where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and was editor of the Centre College Cento and was captain of the varsity tennis team for four years. In the United States Navy he was a special ops Frogman which was the predecessor to the Navy Seals. He was named the “Outstanding Man of His Naval Unit” and he went on to become one of the youngest to command a World War II group in the Pacific Theater of Operations. Joe was the recipient of the Victory Medal, American Theatre Medal, Asiatic-Pacific (Bronze Star) Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal. His first job after college was Editor of the Delray Beach News in Florida and his newspaper won first place in design at the Florida Press Association Convention in 1950, he was also the youngest editor in the state of Florida at the time. Upon returning to Kentucky he became president of Martin-Durr-Caldwell Interior Designers, a spot he held for 45 years. He was CEO of Toliver PTA, Danville High PTA, The Centre Alumni Association, the Beta Alumni Association of Centre, and the KSD Museum Committee. He also served as President of the Kentucky chapter of the National Society of Interior Designers, later, The American Society of Interior Designers. He was an Interior Design graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago. Through the course of his career, he designed many notable locations such as the Brown Hotel in Louisville, the Kentucky room for the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C., and was an advisor to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and the Natchez Trace pilgrimage, selecting which houses would be involved. He worked both publicly and privately for several Kentucky governors, including Martha Layne Collins and Louie B. Nunn. He was a Designer Emeritus with the American Society of Interior Designers. He was also the leading church designer in Kentucky, having designed over 140 churches. Just lately he discovered that he was the oldest practicing designer in Kentucky, and he was delighted with that label. Locally he was past President of the Retail Merchants Association, the Architectural Review Board, and Chairman of the Board of The First Christian Church, Board of Elders and a Sunday School Teacher for 35 years. He was Past President and Paul Harris Fellow of the Danville Rotary Club, and a Kentucky Colonel. Besides being chairman of the Greenleaf Association he was Survey Chairman for Ephraim McDowell Hospital and a board member of the Pioneer Playhouse. He was a member of the Danville Country Club Tennis Team and was a member of the “Dew Patrol Golf Team.” An avid golfer, tennis player, swimmer and cliff diver. He was well known at the McDowell Wellness Center where he swam just about every morning. In 2013 he was inducted into Centre’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Frances Caldwell Martin; and a daughter, Mary Cynthia Martin (John) Feldman. He was predeceased by four sisters, Cynthia, Mary Jane, and Christine, and Pat; and a son, Gentry Wright Martin. The funeral service will be held at 1:30 pm, Friday, October 20, 2017, First Christian Church, Danville, KY. Rev. Joey Pusateri will officiate. Interment will be at Bellevue Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Alex McCrosky, Robert Hamlin, Jon Kuchenbrod, John Feldman, John O’Meara and Mackie Beto. Honorary pallbearers will be Leeanna Randolph, Carolyn Cole, Sid Wold, Ed Rall, John Baird, John Roberts, Irvin Fox, Buddy Harmon, Gene Worthington, Bill Owens, David Overstreet, Tom Cummins, Bill Galbreath, Cliff Taylor, Joe Perry, Rob Hundley, Brad Twilley, Tom Tye, Mike Perros, and Floyd Lyons. Visitation will be 4 to 8 pm, Thursday, October 19, 2017, at the First Christian Church. Memorial donations are suggested to the Danville-Boyle County Humane Society. Visitation: 4 to 8 p.m., Thursday, October 19, 2017 at First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ Funeral Service: 1:30 p.m., Friday, October 20, 2017 at First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ Interment: Bellevue Cemetery

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  1. Mary Cynthia, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. He was such a sweet and helpful man. I know your loss is great and my thoughts are with you my friend. Beth Klawitter/Milliken

  2. Mary Cynthia, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. He was such a sweet and helpful man. I know your loss is great and my thoughts are with you my friend. Beth Klawitter/Milliken

  3. To the Martin family……Our sincere condolences. Joe has almost been an Uncle to me, with as many times as he was in our house making decorating decisions. One of my favorite memories in church was having Joe as my Sunday School teacher back in the 60s. I will also remember his whistle, like everyone else, but how many remember his bull horn on his golf cart. He made alot of people miss their tee shot on #1 at DCC. Joe was always trying to make people laugh, and brought alot of joy into many people\’s lives. Go in peace Joe!

  4. Mr and Mrs Martin were our neighbors for many years. We would walk our 2 Shih Tzu\’s around the neighborhood and regularly met Mr Martin walking Willie and Kate. He was always a kind and funny gentleman. It was a treat when we ran into him. Jon and I want to extend our deepest condolences to the family.

  5. Never forget him donated his time and materials decorating our new Senior Center. Also, tapestr and silk print in our Board Room. And if course that whistle thur out the building.

  6. I am so very sorry to learn about Mr. Joe! He was one of a kind and a true gentleman! Please tell Mrs. Frances and Mary Cynthia I am praying for them!

  7. I am so saddened by this news. I just can\’t imagine Danville — or First Christian Church — without Joe Martin. He was the best of the best. I am so glad I talked to him recently about his college and lifetime buddy Cawood Ledford and got to publish some of his memories. Joe always made me laugh, including sometimes at myself. I can\’t think of a nicer man and I am so sorry we are out of town all this week but our prayers are with you Frances and Mary Cynthia. Blow that whistle after the service one time for me

  8. Very sorry for your family’s loss, Mary C. Your father will be well remembered for his service to God, Country, Community, and a beautiful fraternity house many times over. RIP.

  9. Mary C so sorry for your loss. In his honor I\’ll have a cup of coffee in a dirty cup as he so fondly liked to say

  10. Joe Martin was a larger than life man who contributed enormously to his church, his profession, his community and his world. In addition to his renown as an interior designer andmany other accomplishments in other areas of his life, Joe will be remembered for his wisdom, wit and that smile that could light up any room. One of my favorite memories came three decades or so when I, a new reporter/columnist wth the local newspaper, attended my first local political rally. I happened to stand next to this fellow wearing what I later called a \”truth whistle.\” He would blow it every time he thought a speaker was lying. I laughed so hard it was difficult to take notes.

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