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William Thomas Martin

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March 15, 1936 — April 5, 2020

WAKE FOREST — William “Bill” Thomas Martin, 84, passed away peacefully on April 5, 2020, after an 18-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He is now at home with his Heavenly Father. A Godly man, he was also a beloved husband, father and grandfather. Bill was born in Anderson, South Carolina, on March 15, 1936, to the late Jim Ben Martin and the late Onie Dillard Martin, one of five children.

Bill married his bride of 63 years, Sandra Appy Crittendon, of Calhoun Falls, South Carolina on Feb. 3, 1957. Together they raised their five daughters in an atmosphere of love and nurture, teaching them always to honor and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bill began a distinguished career in government service when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1953 and rose to the rank of Sergeant. He then served in the Federal Aviation Administration for 38 years, retiring with the rank of GM-15.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his four siblings, James Martin, Richard Martin, Marion “Mirney” Martin and Ellen Martin Chrisley. He was also preceded in death by a beloved son-in-law, Dr. D. Kevin Bell.

Bill is survived by his wife, Sandra; and by his five daughters and their spouses, Mindy (Mark) Thompson of Franklinton, Melanie Bell of Wake Forest, Merri (Jim) Schermerhorn of Wake Forest, Mave (Matt) Walter of Tampa, Florida, and Michelle Lee of Cary; 16 much-loved grandchildren; and numerous extended family members.

Bill and Sandra were dedicated members of Bay Leaf Baptist Church for many years. Due to the current situation with COVID-19, a private graveside family-only funeral will be held at Bay Leaf Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his honor to Bay Leaf Baptist Church Missions Fund, Bay Leaf Baptist Church, 12200 Bayleaf Church Road, Raleigh, NC 27614 or online at and then select “Give in honor of”. Memorial donations can also be made to Tampa Muslim Outreach, 218 Bearss Ave. No. 346, Tampa, FL 33613 or online at

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at or sent to Sandra Martin, c/o Cadence at Wake Forest 3218 Heritage Trade Drive, Wake Forest, NC 27587.

A service of Bright Funeral Home, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest, NC 27586,