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4500 Jenny Lind Road
Fort Smith, AR | 72901
700 Jefferson St.
Van Buren, AR | 72956
Clarence Martin

Clarence Donald Martin

Wednesday, February 8th, 1928 - Tuesday, September 10th, 2019
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Clarence Donald Martin passed away Tuesday, September 10, 2019 of Van Buren, Arkansas. Clarence was born in Stuttgart, Arkansas to Clarence David Martin and Mary Martin on February 8, 1928 in Lodges Corner, Arkansas, just down the road from one of his favorite childhood fishing holes. He had a very tough life growing up during the depression, forced to leave school after the sixth grade to work in the rice fields making what little money could be made by field hands then, helping his brother and two sisters survive those rough times. At age 18, right after the end of WWII, he enlisted in the United States Army and was sent to Germany to help transport German POW’s from what was sure death in the Eastern Block countries of the early Soviet Union to safety in Germany. He spoke of being behind what would become the Iron Curtain with a trainload of German POWS in a standoff with Russian troops who were desperate to make the Germans pay. After his required years of service, he got out of the Army and was almost immediately reactivated for the Korean War, although he did not go to Korea until the mid-sixties. This time he decides to make the U.S. Army his career, completed his GED, and married Faye Rhoads and began a family. Another tour in Germany, a tour in west Texas, a tour at Fort Chaffee, another tour in Germany, and he came back to Fort Chaffee, the base where he was inducted into the Army. In 1962, his unit was staged in Mississippi during the Cuban Missile Crisis, for possible invasion of Cuba.
In 1963 his unit provided security for President Kennedy at the dedication of Greers Ferry Dam, one month before President Kennedy would be assassinated. During the era of the civil rights movement, his unit was sent to Oxford, Mississippi to provide security so that Medgar Evers could attend the University of Mississippi. In 1965, he was sent for a tour at the DMZ in Korea, and after a year came home to be stationed in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After two years he was deployed to Vietnam and lived in a hold in the ground for a year in the Tay Ninh Province with the 25th Infantry Division. After his Vietnam tour and 23 adventurous years in the Army, he retired for the first time. He was awarded the Bronze Star, 2 Army Commendation medals and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After the Army, he attended WestArk College for a year, then went to work for the United States Postal Service for 21 years, finally retiring to become a cattleman in 1994. His cattleman career often had to take a backseat to his fishing. He was serious about hunting and fishing and spent many days on the water or in the woods. He once spent a month in the hospital after an intense quail hunt. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Faye Roads and a wife, Mavis Martin, his brother Cecil Martin and sister, Lorene Teague.

Funeral service will be 10:30 Monday, September 16, 2019 at Ocker Memorial Chapel with burial to follow at Fort Smith National Cemetery with full military honors under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home in Van Buren.

He is survived by his sons Ray Martin and wife Gina both of Van Buren and Bob Martin and wife Liz both of Fort Smith, a step daughter, Pam Salazar of Van Buren, a sister, Pauline Mullican of Van Buren, seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be Bob Martin, Robert Martin, Nate Lopez, Jake O’Kelley, Ross Griggs and Ray Tomlin.

Honorary Pallbearers will be Byron Smith, Larry McCain, Mike Williams, Ricky Walker, David Lyle and Candis Thomas.

Family will visit with relatives and friends Sunday, September 15, 2019 from 2-4PM at Ocker Funeral Home 700 Jefferson Street.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, September 15th, 2019 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Sunday, September 15th, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Ocker Funeral Home
    700 Jefferson Street
    VAN BUREN, AR 72956
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Monday, September 16th, 2019 | 10:30am
    Monday, September 16th, 2019 10:30am
    Ocker Memorial Chapel
    700 Jefferson Street
    VAN BUREN, AR 72956
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Jim Boatright
  • Interment

    U.S. National Cemetery
    5th and Garland Avenue
    FORT SMITH, AR 72901
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Martha Pate

Posted at 03:40pm
Clarence was such a kind, sweet man. My sincere condolences to Bob, Ray and your families. Special condolences to my nephew, Bo, who thought the sun rose and set for his Paw. There will be a hole in his heart that will never be filled. We are all very grateful for the positive influence he always had on Bo. Clarence was a great grandpa and I pray he now rests peacefully in his heavenly home. He will be missed.

Posted at 10:36am
Truly A great Man, Father, Mentor, Hero. I have many memories of him hunting, fishing, working on cars & just life.
He treated me like a son & a family member. He taught me many things about life & living.
My condolences to the family, may you find peace in your memories & knowing that he is in his heavenly home.

Susie Moore

Posted at 05:52am
Heaven has gained an angel. Clearance was one of the greatest man ever! ! Always treated me like a daughter and loved his grandson like a dad! He was such a blessing and mentor! Have great memories of our fishing trips togethe, plus so many more! RIP " Paw"! You will always be truly missed.

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