Leon Martin was born on March 1st, 1939 in Lillie, Louisiana, the
4th of 8 children born to the loving union of Nathan Martin, Sr. and
Ella Mae Hawthorn. When Leon was 8, the family moved to
Smackover, Arkansas, where he continued school. He attended the
First Baptist Church where he taught bible summer and Sunday
school. An athletic student, Leon was captain of his high school
After high school, Leon enlisted in the United States Army as part
of Company E, 1st Battalion, 2d Training Regiment and was
stationed in Korea and Seattle, Washington.
After being honorably discharged, Leon relocated to Detroit,
Michigan where he then met his future lovely wife, Joan (neé
Ogletree), in 1964. They were married on October 1, 1966.
Leon attended college at the University of Detroit, graduating with
a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Leon enjoyed many
years working in the field, including his role as an administrator of
the City of Detroit Health Department.
In his free time, Leon enjoyed playing tennis, playing cards, staying
current on news and events, and spending time with his many
friends and family. Leon stayed in touch with many classmates over
the years and was the speaker at many high school reunions.
On January 13th, 2023 Leon transitioned from this earth with his
family at his bedside.
Leon was preceded in death by his parents, and siblings Flossie
Purifoy, Nathan Martin Jr., Perry Martin, Lucille Macadoo, and
Albert Martin. Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife of
56 years, Joan, his daughters Toni Maiden and Crystal Barrow
(Darrell), his son Anthony Martin, his grandchildren Dylan and Nia
Barrow, his sister Jimmie Dell Calloway, and a host of other
relatives and friends.
A private homegoing service was held for Leon on January 16, 2023.