This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Joseph Gordon Martin, a longtime resident of Fairborn, Ohio who passed away on January 29, 2009 at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer.
Joe was born on September 17, 1930 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia to the late Joseph A. and Glessie (Lipps) Martin. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Sonia Martin, two children, Melissa Hamilton of GA and Ross Martin of MD, 3 grandchildren, Christopher Hamilton, Andrea Hamilton, and Taylor Martin, as well as countless friends and associates.
After graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1956 with a BS in Advertising design, Joe served as an officer in the United States Air Force, stationed in New Mexico, Korea, Florida, Nevada and finally at Wright Patterson AFB. In 1971, Joe chose Fairborn in which to begin a second career as a real estate agent. Joe opened Hearth Realty with partner Palmer Bolling in 1976. Hearth eventually became the largest real estate agency in Green County before merging with Coldwell Banker in 2003.
Joe’s professional achievements and associations in those forty-plus years include several Greene County Board of Realtors Broker of the Year awards, lifetime membership in the Ohio Association of Realtors Million Dollar Club, several Ohio Association of Realtors Presidential Achievement awards, and 13 consecutive Dayton Area Board of Realtors Sales Leader Club awards. He served as a charter member, board member and/or officer of many local organizations including the Fairborn Chamber of Commerce, the Fairborn Chamber’s Ambassadors Club, Miami Valley Military Affairs Association, Downtown Fairborn Business Association, and Greene County Development Corporation.
He was a member of the Fairborn St. Luke United Methodist Church for 41 years, serving the church in many capacities, and was an avid supporter of the Fairborn Actors Theatre and Wright State Theatre, as well as numerous local charitable organizations and events.
Among the many acknowledgements of his decades of service to the community, Joe received the Fairborn Chamber of Commerce President’s Award and their Award of Civic Excellence (ACE); July 7, 2008 was deemed “Joseph G. Martin Day” by the Fairborn City Council; he was named “King” of the Fairborn Sweet Corn Festival and Independence Day Parade Marshall.
Joe was well known for his generosity, outgoing personality, sense of humor, and his gift for story-telling. In 2006, to the delight of friends and family, he self-published many stories, life lessons and practical jokes a memoir entitled The Life and Times of Joe Gordon (to the best of my recollection). Joe’s service to his community did not end in death, as he requested that his body be donated to the Wright State Medical Center.
In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to send a donation to any of the following charities:
- University Scholarship Funds, 3640 Col. Glenn Hwy, Dayton, OH 45435
- Fairborn St. Luke United Methodist Church, 100 N. Broad Street, Fairborn, OH 45324
- FISH Fairborn, 101 Mann Ave., Fairborn, OH 45324
Those wishing to celebrate Joe’s life are invited to a memorial service at St. Luke UMC, 100 N. Broad St. in Fairborn on Sunday, February 15 at 2:00 pm (not 1pm as listed previously). Be prepared to tell your favorite story about Joe; we expect there will be more tears of laughter than sorrow.
More information about Joe's book is available at www.rossmartinmd.com/joegordon.htm. There will be copies available at the service, with proceeds going to one of the charities listed above.