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Garry Frank Martin lost his short, but fierce fight against lung cancer on Jan. 22 at his home in Greenville. Funeral services were held on Jan. 28 at 1 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church with The Rev. Reid T. McCormick officiating and Dunklin & Daniels Funeral Home directing. Burial followed in Meija Family Cemetery. Visitation was held Jan. 27 from 5-8 p.m. at Dunklin & Daniels Funeral Home.

Garry was born the son of Frances Eulee Hard and Robah Martin, on March 21, 1944, in Cedar City, Utah. At the age of 12, his family moved to Crest, east of El Cajon, Calif. He graduated from Granite Hills High School in El Cajon in 1963.

After serving in the Navy, Garry enlisted in the Air Force. He was discharged in 1967 and joined the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department in 1969. He retired from the Sheriff’s Department with 20 years of service and the rank of Captain.

Garry, his wife and daughter returned to his wife’s home in Butler County, Alabama in 1993 and were soon joined by their son and his family, her parents and her sister Lisa and family. He went to work for the Greenville Police Department, rising through the ranks and retiring in September 2013 with the rank of Senior Captain after 21 years.

Garry is survived by his wife of almost 30 years, Ramona Mejia Martin; his daughter, Marie Martin;  son, Dean Lee Martin; five grandchildren, Victoria Martin , Mercedes Martin Roberts, Taylor Martin, Diego Martin and Bella Thompson; seven great-grandchildren, Isabella Martin, Mia Martin, Damian Roberts, October Roberts, Ashtyn Roberts, Sylus Greenwood and Steven Hagan.

He is also survived by his brother Bill Burgess; sister-in-laws, Lisa Mejia Hudson (Dwight) and Melinda Mejia Adams (Tim);  brother-in-law, Carlos Mejia (Debbie Rodriguez ); nieces, Brianna Flores, Billie Burgess and Kelli Burgess; nephew, Carlos Mejia de Rodriguez and his Little Buddy, great-nephew, Carter Vinson. He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife, Prudencia Lynn Martin; eldest son, Garry Dean Martin; son, Robert Martin; daughter-in-law, Donna Thompson and father and mother-in-law, Ralph and Evelyn Mejia.

Garry was a man with the values of a bygone era. His handshake was as good as a contract. He hated a lie. He believed in treating everyone equally and with dignity. He felt that people deserved a hand up, not a hand out. He was a man’s man and enjoyed hunting and being in the woods, but he was also a gentleman who treated every woman as a lady.

He was tough but fair.  He was the strongest man many of us ever knew, and yet he was the most gentle man with children and animals. His children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews knew a man who would read stories, played games and watched westerns with them. He loved the Old West and was a John Wayne addict.  He was a Christian man who felt his faith deeply. He believed in his God, his country and his family and in protecting all of them.

He saw the good in others until they gave him reason not to, and even then would usually give them another chance. His loss will be felt by so many, for a very long time.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Fraternal Order of Police or to the St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. “I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.”  (2 Timothy 4:7)

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