Bernard John (Barney) Martin was born on October 14, 1911, in Paola, Kan., the son of Bernard Jacob Martin and Agnes Margaret McGrath Martin, and died on May 29, 2002, after a short illness.
Mr. Martin attended elementary school in Paola and graduated form Paola High School. He received a football scholarship to St. Louis University in 1929 and played with the Billikens. Mr. Martin led the team in scoring during his junior year, while playing center. After college, Mr. Martin sold insurance in St. Louis and worked as a rural letter carrier in Bloomfield. He was named the Outstanding Rural Mail Carrier for Missouri in 1975. Mr.. Martin moved to Dexter during his retirement years. He was one of the founding members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Mr. Martin is survived by his wife, Estelle (Haba) (Allen) Martin. He previously was married to the former Bernice Sebastian until her death in 1991. Mr. Martin also is survived by his brother, Ed Martin of Lyons, Colo. Two brothers, Jack and Kenneth, as well as his sister, Ellen, preceded him in death.
Mr. Martin also is survived by his nieces and nephews, David Martin, Broomfield, Colo., Mark Martin, Littleton, Colo., Gary Martin, Platte City, Mo., Bernie Martin, Descanso, Calif., Doris June Krause, San Diego, Calif., Alice May Stark, Carson City, Nev., Peggy Harvey, Arlington, Texas, and Rita Cantu, Prescott, Ariz.; his stepchildren, Denise and Neal Ayers, Dexter, Mo., Don Allen Jr., Champaign, Ill., Marilyn and Steve Austin, Tucson, Ariz., Karen and Chester Fleming, Celina, Ohio, Mary Jo Allen, Dallas, Texas, and Diane M. Allen, St. Louis; and seven stepgrandchildren.
Mr. Martin was a charter member of the Crowley Ridge Flyers Club. He also was a charter member of the Knights of Columbus, having achieved the third degree. He was instrumental in the founding of the Dexter K of C chapter and has been the most significant contributor to the building of the Dexter K of C's present facility. He was an active participant in the Senior Olympics for many years and won over two dozen gold medals in the high jump and bowling. Mr. Martin holds the unbroken national record for high jump in the Senior Olympics age group of 70 and over. He was a member of the Elks Lodge and a major donor to the Elks Building Fund. Mr. Martin was a member for more than 50 years of the Missouri Rural Letter Carriers Association. He also was a member of the Dexter Chamber of Commerce, the DHS Boosters Club, and the Golden Circle at his parish, Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Mr. Martin was instrumental in getting the Barney Martin Lanes started, and he later assumed ownership of the lanes.
Mr. Martin established the Barney Martin Scholarship at Dexter High School, which is given annually to a DHS football athlete. Mr. Martin was a benefactor of the Stoddard County Children's Home, the Stoddard County Gospel Mission, the Bootheel Youth Museum, the Stars & Stripes Museum, the Center for Family Resources, the College of the Ozarks, St. Jude's Hospital, Shriners' Hospital, Cardinal Glennon Hospital, his parish and many other community organizations too numerous to mention.
Mr. Martin was an avid reader, an accurate historian, and a prolific storyteller. His warm heart will be genuinely missed. The community will reap the benefits of Mr. Martin's generosity for many generations to come.
Memorials may be made to the Stoddard County Gospel Mission and/or Knights of Columbus Council 6615.
Friends may call at the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. today, May 31, 2002. A rosary service will be held at 8 p.m. today in the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Chapel. Funeral services will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 1, 2002 at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church with Father John Sheley officiating. Interment will follow in the Dexter Cemetery.