Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Former Senator Ernest Martin Dead At 89

From The Ardmoreite ~ Funeral services for former Senator Ernest D. Martin will be 10 a.m. Friday at the First Baptist Church with Dr. Alton Fannin officiating. Interment will follow to Rose Hill Cemetery with military honors.

Ernest was born April 13, 1921, to James Edgar and Maude D. Estes Martin in Hugo, Okla. He passed from this life on Nov. 2, 2010, in Ardmore at the age of 89.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Nita Hegwood Martin in 1994; brothers, James Martin, T.J. and R.E. Martin, Calvin Martin, and Edgar Martin; and a sister, Ruthelle Hartsell.

When Ernest was 19, he attended the Commercial Art School in Chicago, Ill., for two years and worked in commercial art in Houston for two years, he later decided to join the Army Air Corp for three and one-half years during WW II, this is where he met Nita Hegwood. He and Nita were married March 12, 1946, in Lucedale, Mississippi.

He was a graduate of Ardmore High School and University of Oklahoma School of Pharmacy in 1950, which he completed in three years. After Pharmacy school he and Nita moved back to Ardmore and he went to work for his father in Martin’s Drug Store.

In 1976 he was awarded the Bowl of Hygeia Award, was recognized for “Outstanding Community Service in Pharmacy” by A.H. Robins and served in the Senate from 1964-1982 where he was majority leader. In office he served as chairman of the Public and Mental Health Department Committee for 16 years and also co-authored a bill to make it possible for Interstate 35 to pass through Ardmore, other accomplishments include the Southern Oklahoma Vo-Tech Center, The Ardmore Higher Education Center, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Headquarters Troop F, The Ardmore Veterans Center and many more. But he always said that his greatest accomplishment, the one that made his eyes glow and his posture straighten was the picture of his wife, Nita.

A family visitation will be Thursday evening from 7-8 p.m. at the Craddock Funeral Home.

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