DEXTER - Bernard John "Barney" Martin, 90, died May 29, 2002, following a brief illness.
Born Oct. 14, 1911, in Paola, Kan., he was the son of the late Bernard Jacob and Agnes Margaret McGrath Martin.
His wife, Estelle Haba Allen Martin, survives of the home. He was previously married to the former Bernice Sebastian who preceded him in death in 1991.
Also surviving are his brother, Ed Martin of Lyons, Colo.; his nieces and nephews, David Martin of Broomfield, Colo., Mark Martin of Littleton, Colo., Gary Martin of Platte City, Bernie Martin of Descanso, Calif., Doris June Krause of San Diego, Calif., Alice May Stark of Carson City, Nev., Peggy Harvey of Arlington, Texas, and Rita Cantu of Prescott, Ariz.; his stepchildren, Denise and Neal Ayers of Dexter, Don Allen Jr. of Champaign, Ill., Mary Jo Allen of Dallas, Texas, and Diane M. Allen of St. Louis; and seven stepgrandchildren.
Two brothers, Jack Martin and Kenneth Martin, and his sister, Ellen, preceded him in death.
He attended elementary school in Paola and was a graduate of Paola High School. Martin received a football scholarship in 1929 to St. Louis University where he played with the Billikens and, in his junior year, he led his team in scoring. Following college, he sold insurance in St. Louis and worked as a rural letter carrier in Bloomfield. He was named Outstanding Rural Mail Carrier for Missouri in 1975 and moved to Dexter during his retirement years. Martin was one of the founding members of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Martin was a charter member of both the Crowley Ridge Flyers Club and of the Knights of Columbus, with which he had achieved the third degree. Martin was instrumental in the founding of the Dexter Knights of Columbus Chapter and was a significant contributor to the building of the chapter's present facility. He was a member of the Elks Lodge and major contributor to the Elks Building Fund. For more than 50 years, he was a member of the Missouri Rural Letter Carriers Association. Other memberships included the Dexter Chamber of Commerce, Dexter High School Booster Club and the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Golden Circle. He was instrumental in starting the Barney Martin Lanes, of which he later assumed ownership.
Also active with the Senior Olympics for many years, Martin won more than two dozen gold medals in the high jump and bowling events. He holds the unbroken national record for high jump in the Senior Olympics age group of 70 and over.
He established the Barney Martin Scholarship at Dexter High School, which is given annually to a DHS football athlete. Martin was also a benefactor of the Stoddard County Children's Home, Stoddard County Gospel Mission, Bootheel Youth Museum, Stars and Stripes Museum, Center for Family Resources, College of the Ozarks, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Shriner's Hospital, Cardinal Glennon Hospital, his church and many other community organizations.
Martin was an avid reader, historian and a prolific storyteller. His warm heart will be genuinely missed. The community will reap the benefits of his generosity for many generations to come.
Visitation is from 5:30 to 9 p.m. today at Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter where a rosary is scheduled for 8 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with the Rev. John Sheley officiating.
Burial will follow in the Dexter Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be sent to:
Stoddard County Gospel Mission
207 One Mile Road
Dexter, Mo. 63841
Knights of Columbus Council 6615
in care of Sacred Heart Catholic Church
102 E. Castor St.