Charles E. Martin, M.D., child of God, faithful husband, loving father, and a physician for 50 years, died on his 94th birthday, May 6, 2018, in Perry, Oklahoma. The son of Archie Olind and Mary Elizabeth (Barnett) Martin, he was born on May 6, 1924, in Vinita, Oklahoma.
Dr. Martin was a devoted physician whose interest in medical care and promoting good health lasted through his long career and retirement. He also wanted to contribute to Perry in as many ways as he could.
He practiced in Perry from 1952 until his retirement in 2001, starting in an office on Sixth Street on the east side of the courthouse square, then on Cedar Street on the south side of the square, then on Delaware Street in the block west of the square and finally at Perry Memorial Hospital in the doctors' wing.
He was especially devoted to his obstetrical patients and enjoyed taking care of moms and babies. He delivered about 2,000 babies, mostly at Perry Memorial Hospital but also while serving in the Army, particularly at Fort Hood, Texas, after returning from the Korean War. Pictures of the babies he delivered lined the walls of his office. He often said that "all the babies were miracles." Dr. Martin would open his office on many evenings to see patients, and he made house calls. He loved helping, comforting, and taking care of people.
After graduation in 1941 from Stillwater High School, he enrolled at Oklahoma A&M College (later Oklahoma State University), joined the Army Enlisted Reserve Corps and began taking pre-med courses. After World War II began, the Army called him up to active duty and set him on course to receive his medical training at the University of Oklahoma. He received a B.S. in biological sciences in 1946 from OSU, where he belonged to academic honor societies, and completed his M.D. at OU in 1948. He was discharged from his first tour of duty in the Army in 1946.
While serving his medical internship in 1948-49 at the University of Wisconsin, he met his future wife.
On July 2, 1949, he and Marjorie Billmeier were married at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Saginaw, Michigan, her hometown. Soon after the Korean War began in 1950, Dr. Martin re-enlisted in the Army and became a battalion surgeon. He served in Korea for 10 months, treating wounded soldiers near the front lines and received the Bronze Star for "meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy in Korea."
Dr. Martin completed his Army service at Fort Hood, Texas, in the obstetrical unit. There were two doctors working 12 hours on and 12 hours off delivering babies. After his Army service, he and Marjorie decided to move back to Oklahoma and chose Perry to begin his family practice.
He was a family physician from 1952 to 1990 and a member of the Perry Memorial Hospital staff. One of the highlights of his career came in 1964 when he had the happy experience of delivering the Clark triplets, Cary, Chris and Charles.
From 1991 to 2001, Dr. Martin was the medical director at Perry Nursing Home and Green Valley Nursing Home.
He was a member of the Perry First Baptist Church and was a choir member and Sunday School teacher. He served as volunteer physician at Falls Creek Baptist Church Camp for most summers from 1968 until 1990. He taught Sunday School at Green Valley Nursing Home for several years in the 1980s and 1990s. Far into his later years, he continued to study the Bible and memorize Bible verses that he would discuss with visitors as a comfort and a blessing.
He was committed to the education of Perry youth and was a member of the Perry Public Schools board of education 1959-74, serving two terms as president. He advocated for construction of the current Perry High School building.
Dr. Martin was an active supporter of Perry Carnegie Library, serving on the board 1992-2002. After he retired, he could be found most days reading newspapers at the library, as well as talking with friends and checking out books. In 2010, the Perry Carnegie Library Reading Garden was dedicated to Charles and Marjorie.
A member of the Perry Rotary Club since 1953, Dr. Martin became a Paul Harris Fellow in 1988 and served in several roles as an officer in the local club. He and Marjorie hosted a Rotary Exchange Student from Brazil, Gabriel de Carvalho Jacintho, in the early 1970s.
He was active in the Boy Scouts of America as a boy and as an adult. In 1937, he attended the first Boy Scout Jamboree, held in Washington, D.C., a wonderful experience that he always remembered. In Perry, Dr. Martin was active on the adult level 1953-2000. In 1963, he was the recipient of the Silver Beaver award, the top award given by the Will Rogers Council of the Boy Scouts.
Dr. Martin participated in many facets of community life. He was a member of the Perry Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and in 1963 he was the first person honored as Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the chamber. Dr. Martin was also a member for many years of the Noble County Board of Health, Noble County Genealogy Society, Cherokee Strip Historical Society, American Legion Ellis-Jirous Post 53, and Stagecoach Community Theatre, serving on the board and acting in plays. He was a member of the board of directors of First Bank and Trust 1959-89. In 2007, he and his wife were parade marshals at the Cherokee Strip parade.
Visitation at Brown-Dugger Funeral Home will be from 2 p.m. till 8 p.m. on Sun., May 13. The family will be available at visitation from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Following a private interment at Grace Hill cemetery, a memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m., Mon., May 14, at the First Baptist Church in Perry. Rev. Kim Hays will officiate. Directly after the service, the family will receive friends in the fellowship hall. Services are under the direction of Brown-Dugger Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to the Perry Memorial Hospital Foundation or the Perry Rotary Club to support the Dr. Martin Scholarship for health careers, P.O. Box 388, Perry, OK, 73077.
In addition to his wife, Marjorie, he is survived by four children and their spouses: Mary Ann (Gordon) Matzke, Kay (Tom) McCarthy, David (Julia Karlak) Martin and Ken (Mary) Martin; grandchildren and their spouses, Nicholas (Phoebe Hardefelt) Matzke, Amanda (Aramis) VanSandt, Neil (Leah) McCarthy, Mary (Brad Walton) McCarthy, Hugh (Lauren) McCarthy, Katie Martin, Ross Martin, Ben Martin, Meredith Martin, Jonathan Martin and Peterson Martin; great-grandchildren George VanSandt, Joan VanSandt, Lucy McCarthy, Valerie McCarthy and Everett McCarthy; caring friend Debby Kime Knott of Perry; and exchange student Gabriel Jacintho of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Mary Martin Arceneaux, brother James Martin and their spouses.