Thomas Martin

Obituary of Thomas J. Martin

Thomas Jefferson Martin, the fifth of six children of the late Rufus and Inez Martin, was born on September 8, 1936 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He attended local grade schools and graduated from Druid High School. He confessed Christ at an early age and joined Hunter’s Chapel Zion AME Church in Tuscaloosa, AL. Thomas earned his undergraduate degree from Stillman College, a private Presbyterian, Historically Black College in Tuscaloosa, AL, and was a distinguished basketball, track, and baseball player. Later, he earned a master’s degree from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Alabama. Additional studies include three National Science Foundation fellowships at Dillard University, Jackson State University, and Temple University; and the Alabama Principal/Superintendent Certification from the University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama. Thomas’ professional experiences include teaching and coaching in secondary education, and faculty and administrative positions in higher education. He was a successful basketball coach and chair of the science department at Druid High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Also, Thomas taught biology at Stillman College and Brewer State Junior College. Beginning in 1974, he held administrative positions in postsecondary education including Associate Executive Director of the Alabama Consortium for the Development of Higher Education (ACDHE) Acting Dean of Student Affairs, Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, and Director of Minority and International Student Affairs at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama. He joined Tennessee State University as Vice President for Student Affairs from 1991-2005. Thomas received several awards and honors including: the 1968 Pepsi Cola Award for Outstanding Coach, the Tennessee Board of Regents’ Distinguished Service Award (1997), Jaycees Awards for Outstanding Coaching Record (1971-73); the Stillman College Outstanding Alumnus recognition (2002-2003) and College’s Presidential Citation by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the Order of the Magnolia Certifications for gifts, commitment and support of Stillman College, the 2005 “Man of the Year Award” from the National Pan Hellenic council at Tennessee State University. Other notable accomplishments are consultant to the United State Department of Education, recipient of several funded proposals including the State of Alabama Minority Teacher Education Program while at the University of Montevallo. He served on five (5) Accreditation Teams for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools including reviews of Fisk University and Prairie View A&M University. As Vice-President for Student Affairs at Tennessee State University, he developed several impacting programs. He was a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), the National Education Association (NEA), and the National Science Teacher Association (NSTEA). He served on the boards of Grace M. Eaton Day Care Center, Nashville Lions Club and the Trustee Board of Patterson Memorial United Methodist Church. Thomas was a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the Agora Assembly of Nashville, TN. He was an active and faithful member of Patterson Memorial United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN. Thomas departed this life on November 1, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Marvin T. Martin; brothers, Rufus L. Martin (Bettye) and Hugh P. Martin; sisters, Othie M. Eaves (Williams) and Essie M. Jefferson (Thomas de); and brother in-law, Morris R. Lee. He leaves to cherish his memories a devoted wife, Dr. Elaine D. Martin; loving children Jeffrey T. Martin (Cynthia), Ivan T. Martin, Tonya McGary (Steve), Brian K. Martin (Tyanita), Jennifer Petty Thornton (Carlos), and Dr. Tamara J. Martin; daughter in-law, Aicha Martin; two sisters Martha Martin Lee and Bobbie Martin Parker (Willie J.); sister in-law, Barbara Martin; thirteen grandchildren and a host of other family members and friends.
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Thursday
4
November

Public Walk Through

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Robert E. Lewis Memorial Chapel
2500 Clarksville Pike
Nashville , Tennessee, United States
MASK must be worn at all times
Friday
5
November

Family Visitation

10:00 am - 10:30 am
Friday, November 5, 2021
Patterson Memorial United Methodist Church
316 Whitsett Road
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
MASK must be worn at all times
Friday
5
November

Celebration of Life

11:00 am
Friday, November 5, 2021
Patterson Memorial United Methodist Church
316 Whitsett Road
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
MASK must be worn at all times.
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