Former state rep from Normangee passes

Posted 10/1/19

Lloyd C. Martin, a two-term state representative for Madison, Leon and Freestone counties, died from skin cancer Sept. 24, just 10 days after his 87th birthday.

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Former state rep from Normangee passes

Posted

Lloyd C. Martin, a two-term state representative for Madison, Leon and Freestone counties, died from skin cancer Sept. 24, just 10 days after his 87th birthday.

Martin, a native of George and a 1949 graduate of Normangee High School, ran for office while still a student at the University of Texas School of Law. He served two terms before deciding not to seek reelection.

“He could have been a senator; he could have been anything,” said Joe B. Henderson, Jr., Martin’s law and business partner for more than 39 years. “Instead, he chose to come home and take care of his family.”

Martin’s father, Lee Alvin Martin, served as a Madison County Commissioner. He died in 2004.

More infamously, Martin’s mother, Alice Martin, served as postmaster (at the time, “postmistress”) in Normangee until she was kidnapped while walking to her Normangee home by serial killer Daniel Lee Corwin in February of 1987. Corwin raped, gagged and stabbed the 72-old woman. Corwin was executed in 1998 for that and two other murders.

Lloyd Martin was also preceded in death by David Scott Martin and Larry Alvin Martin, his wife, Marilyn Sue Martin, and his brother Gary Lee Martin.

“He faced more tragedy than any man should suffer in a lifetime,” Henderson said. “But he always handled it face on, came to work, got on with life.”

Bruce Martin, Lloyd’s son, said the family still owns land around George.

According to an obituary from Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home, during Martin’s first term in the Texas House, he was appointed as a member to the House of Representatives General Investigation Committee.

The committee conducted an investigation into crime and payoffs to local officials in Beaumont and Jefferson Counties. This investigation was concluded with a televised hearing in which numerous officials were subpoenaed to attend and testify.

After graduating NHS, Martin began studies at then Sam Houston State Teachers College (now Sam Houston State University). He left to join the Air Force in December of 1950, where he served as a tail gunner on B-29s in 39 missions over North Korea during the Korean War.

“He was too young for World War II, but just right for Korea,” Henderson said. When the Korean war began, Henderson said, Martin went with a group of about 20 fellow Sam Houston students to sign up on the same day.

After his discharge on Dec. 29, 1954, Martin returned to his studies at Sam Houston and married Marilyn Sue Hatch of Roswell, New Mexico the next year. He completed his Bachelor’s of Business Administration in 1956 and moved to Odessa to work for the city.

According to his obituary, Martin was inspired to attend law school after an Odessa assistant city attorney ordered a shrimp cocktail during a visit to a truck stop café.

“The waitress did not know what he was talking about and neither did the cook. He gave up and ordered what Lloyd had chosen. When they walked out of the truck stop café, Lloyd looked back over his shoulder and thought, ‘I thought you had to be extra smart to be an attorney,’" the obituary details. The revelation prompted Martin to apply to Texas Law and enroll in 1957.

After earning his law degree in 1962, Martin hung a shingle in Madisonville. For about a year. He then accepted a position as assistant attorney general of Texas, serving in that role for three-and-a-half years. During the last six months of that stint, Martin represented the Texas Department of Corrections.

In September 1966, he and his family moved to Huntsville, where he began a real estate law. In January 1967, he accepted a position as Senior Project Attorney for the construction of the Livingston Reservoir by the Trinity River Authority of Texas.

In January 1970, he joined the law firm that would eventually become Smither, Martin & Henderson and also eventually joined the operations of Walker County Title Company.

“All the lawyers liked him,” Henderson said. “He was a quiet man, wasn’t much for small talk.

“He wasn’t verbose, but very articulate. He didn’t speak much, but when he did, everyone listened.”

He is survived by his son and his wife, Bruce A. Martin and wife, Sonya Martin of Frisco and their two children David Bailey Martin and Alice Ann Martin, his grandson Alvin Lloyd Martin and wife, Malori C. Martin of Huntsville, his granddaughter Magen Nichole Hamrick and husband, Don Hamrick of Lovelady and their two children Colby Taylor and Cort Hamrick, his sister Vida Jean Stover of Missouri City; and his companion and special friend, Gisela K. Allen of Huntsville.

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