Fred H. Martin

fred martin
Fred H. Martin, 83, of Asheville, husband of Sally Bartoo Martin of the home, and former Buncombe County Superintendent of Schools, died Wednesday, July 26, 2006. He was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel C. Martin and Bessie Vivian Lawson Martin; a brother, Frank C. Martin and a sister, Virginia Mae Martin Taylor. Surviving immediate family members include his wife, Sally Bartoo Martin; a son, Bartoo Elfred Martin, a dentist in Asheville, his wife Sherry and their son, Garrett Samuel, of Asheville; a daughter, Marcia Martin Potas, a pharmaceutical representative in Richmond, VA, her husband Major Daniel J. Potas and their children, Lawson Garrett and Carolina Marie; a son, Samuel Lawson Martin, an attorney in New York City; a sister, Betty Jean Martin of Asheville; a sister, Edith Martin Butterworth of District Heights, MD and her children, Commander Robert Martin Butterworth, his wife Margaret and their daughter, Karen Butterworth; Valerie Butterworth and James Herbert Butterworth. Also, a nephew, David W. Taylor, Sr. of Asheville, wife Judy and their children David, Jr., Stephanie Redmond and Leslie Northcutt and their spouses and children. Fred was born August 9, 1922, in Asheville and attended Newton Elementary School and Lee H. Edwards High School and graduated from Brevard Junior College in 1942. He worked in the Wilmington shipyard for three months prior to entering military service on October 12, 1942. He was a WWII veteran, and served in New Guinea and the Philippines. His decorations and citations included the Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars, Philippine Liberation Ribbon with two Bronze Service Stars, American Theater Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal AR 600-68 and the Victory Medal. Following military service, Fred attended East Carolina University and was elected student body president during both his junior and senior years. Fred, with collaboration, wrote a new constitution for the East Carolina Student Government Association. In 1950 Fred received a Masters degree in biology and school administration from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville. While in Nashville, he was able to nourish his love of old time country music by attending the Grand Ole Opry at the old Ryman Auditorium. He had the opportunity to meet backstage and shake hands with many of the original Opry stars such as Eddie Arnold, Red Foley and Roy Acuff and he had a front row seat for Hank Williams' first Grand Ole Opry appearance. During 1953-54 he did graduate work in school administration at Teachers College of Columbia University in New York City. Professionally, Fred became a teacher of biology at Lee H. Edwards High School in 1952, was then promoted to Dean of Boys and elected president of Asheville Classroom Teachers Association. In 1954 he became principal at Enfield Graded School (grades1-12) in Enfield, NC, and served one year as president of Halifax County Chapter of the North Carolina Education Association. While at Enfield, he developed the first high school ninety-minute classroom period. In 1959 Fred followed Mr. N.C. Shuford as Principal of Charles D. Owen High School in Swannanoa. During 1964-65, he served as Director of Admissions and Assistant Professor of Education at UNCA. He then served as Associate Superintendent of Buncombe County Schools and, upon the retirement of T.C. Roberson, he became Superintendent of Buncombe County Schools. After eight years, Fred resigned as superintendent and became Principal of Charles C. Bell Elementary School, where he retired on December 31, 1993, after forty plus years in North Carolina public education. Fred had been a member of Mt. Herman Masonic Lodge, No. 118, in Asheville since 1951. He earned the 32nd degree in Scottish Rite Freemasonry and had been a 50+ year member of the Sudan Temple of New Bern, NC. He was also a member of VFW Post #891 on Leicester Highway. Fred recalled fondly his time spent with the Boy Scouts of America in Asheville, where he was an Assistant Scout Master with Troop 108, a member of the Order of the Arrow and earned the scout leaders "Wood Badge". He attended Camp Daniel Boone, hiked and camped out monthly with the troop until both sons, Bart and Sam, became Eagle Scouts. He particularly enjoyed the fellowship of the group of dads who participated in troop activities. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Asheville and served a term on the Early Childhood Education Committee. He especially enjoyed the Sunday School class taught by Judge Jim Bailey. He has been active in the Kenilworth Forest Community Club, having been past president and active on several committees, and also served for a period of time on the Buncombe County Council on Aging. Since retirement, Fred and his wife, Sally, traveled extensively in the South and Western United States, visiting many of the national parks. One of Fred's favorite mystery writers, James Lee Burke, wrote about and has a home in New Iberia, LA, (great fresh crawfish!) where Fred and Sally stopped on their way westward. Because of their interest in Native American culture, which was reinforced by reading Tony Hillerman's mysteries, they enjoyed Indian ruins such as Mesa Verde and Montezuma's Castle. Other favorite authors inspired stopovers, also. The westerns by Louis L'Amour led to stops in Dodge City, KS, Durango and Silverton, CO. The "Trail" series of westerns by Bill Compton, caused Fred to seek out and find "The Old Sante Fe Trail" and the "Chisolm Trail". The Martin's mutual interest in science led to a tour of "Biosphere Two" near Tucson, AZ. Fred's favorite poems are from American literature and, since high school, one of his life's guides has been the ending verse of William Cullen Bryant's (1794-1878 "Thanatopsis" as follows: "So live, that when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan which moves To that mysterious realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death, Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, Sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." Graveside services will be 3:30 pm Friday at Riverside Cemetery with the Reverend Bill Snyder officiating and Masonic Rites provided by the Mt. Herman Lodge. His family will receive friends from 2:00-3:00 pm Friday at Groce Funeral Home on Patton Avenue prior to leaving for the graveside. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Masonic Home for Children, 600 College Street, Oxford, NC 27565.

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  1. I’m really sorry for your family’s lost. He was my principal at Bell and i really enjoyed him. He was so kind and really cared about all of us. He brighten each of our day every day. I remember him dressing up for holidays. I will pray for your family. He will be missed and remembered for the great man he was.

  2. Bart,

    We are so sorry for your loss and continue to keep you and your family in our prayers. Cherish the memories and don’t forget to smile as your remember the good times.

    David & Jai Jai Bullard

  3. Betty Jean and Members of Fred’s Family, We were distressed to read about Fred this morning. We were aware of his serious illness; however, we are never ready to lose our loved ones. The only comfort has to be our Faith in the Sovereignty of God and the manifested concern of caring friends. The whole Class of 43 joins me in extending our sympathy. We hope it does help in some small way to know that others do care. Zunita and Joe

  4. Sam, Bart, Marcia and Mrs. Martin,

    My condolences to you. I can hear Mr. Martin’s voice booming at me and Sam for cutting up on one of the many scouting events we shared together. I am thankful for the leadership he provided to us.

    I am honored to have know him. God bless,


  5. Sally, Bart, Marcia, Sam and Family, Fred touched many lives during his life and career. Our family experienced that love and friendship for more than forty years. I will miss him. My prayers are with you at this time.

  6. My sincerest sympathies for your loss. Mr. Martin was a kind, caring, and generous person who always made me feel welcome and wanted. My thoughts are with you all.

  7. Mr. Martin was a wonderful
    professional leader. We have
    many fond memories of Mr.
    Martin in the schools!
    Our sympathy to all the family!

  8. I had the privilage to work with this great man and had his wonderful wife as a teacher in elementary school. Mr. Martin will be missed very much by so many people. I am so sorry for your loss.

  9. I had the honor of having Mr. Martin as my Principal at Bell Elementary School. I also had Mrs. Martin as a science teacher at Reynolds Middle. Mr. Martin could still remember me, long after I left Bell. He was a wonderful, caring man, who greatly impacted by life, by incouraging me to do my best. My thoughts and prayers are with this entire family.

  10. Mrs. Martin,Bart and Marcia, I was so sorry to read of the passing of Mr.Martin. He was my Principal at Owen High School in 1960 and was admired and respected by all. He was also our friend. It was so nice to see the both of you last September.He will always be remembered and loved. I am very sorry for your loss.

  11. Dear Martin Family,
    I am sorry to hear of your loss. Mr. Martin was a well loved individual. I attended C.C.Bell in the 70’s, when he was the principle, then my son attended Bell School, as he was still the principle then. He still remembered me from all those years before. He was always very nice, very involved with all of his students. My deepest sympathies go out to your family and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.

    Tammie Thomas Reed

  12. My husband, Bill, and I can only say ‘What a Man’. He was our high school principal when we were high school sweethearts and later was Superintendent of BCS when I was hired in the school system. The classes of 1963 & 1964 will forever be grateful to this wonderful man. He was the one man we knew would show up for class reunions and remind all of us of everything we did at Owen High School – good or bad! He was such a positive influence on so many different lives – he will forever live in the Swannanoa Valley as we remember all the good things the wonderful Fred Martin taught us. We will strive to carry on the legacy he left for us. I’m sure he, Mr. Lytle, Mr. Hipps, Mr. Ditt and others can have good conversations about us. Our prayers are with the family as you make this transition – I’m sure God and your memories will sustain you.

  13. I was saddened to hear of Mr. Martin’s passing. My sincere condolences to the entire family. Mr. Martin made my four years at Owen High a memorable experience. He was always firm but fair to all students. I think God has a special place for those who spend their lives in the tutelage of children.
    Jerry McMahan- Class of ’63

  14. May you share a glimps of the Glory and Love Mr. Martin is sharing now with those at ‘Home’ on the other side. He was a great educator here in the classroom know as ‘Life’. And will be missed by many.
    With Love
    Ted and Susan Ogle Edwards
    and our children Heath and Heather his students at Bell in the 80s



  16. My deepest sympathy to all in the family.He was such a fine man and an even better leader.A leader at life.My fondest memories of school started with him in the 70’s at Bell.My very best wishes.

  17. Sally and family:
    Add my name to those who loved and respected Fred. I have nothing but warm and fond memories of our past times. Sincerely, Dr. Jim Sloan

  18. We are so sorry to hear about Mr. Martin. We graduated from Owen in 1961 and he was our principal. He was the BEST. We enjoyed our last visit with him at our class reunion in 2001. We will miss him when we celebrate our reunion Sept 9, 2006. Best wishes to the family.

  19. Our deepest sympathy to all of the Martin family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.

  20. As a student of Mr. Martin at LEH in 1952 I remember him fondly and with respect. I was fortunate to have talked with Mrs. Martin about Fred’s health, when a classmate and I drove by their house in the summer of 2005 on a ‘sightseeing’ trip of Asheville. This was relative to the 1953 LEH Class mini-reunion. My sympathy to the family in your loss.

  21. Sally and childen,
    My heart was saddened when I opened my paper this morning and saw that my Mr. Fred had passed away. I met Mr. Fred about 10 years ago when he was working with Smart Start. He was my assessor and I immediately fell in love with him. He made me feel so comfortable and so important, he told me if he had a child in day care he would want me to care for it, that was a compliment. We kept in touch and would talk on the phone often. It hasn’t been very long since I talked to him, I really didn’t know he was so sick. Mr. Fred was so proud of his wife and children, I feel like I know all of you. Let me say I am so sorry, but that it has been such an honor to have known Mr. Fred, he was a gentleman and a compasionate wonderful man.
    Beverly Bell (Bev’s Day Care)

  22. Dear Sally,

    I don’t know if you remember me from UNCA but I have remembered that you were there and that you maarried the school superintendent. I had a brother, Maurice, who is also now deceased. My condolences go to you and your family.

  23. I want to extend to each of you my sympathy and condolences at this time. I was a kindergarten teacher at Charles C. Bell Elementary School when Mr. Martin was principal there. I shall never forget how he knew each child’s name, and the families from which they came. He was solely motivated by his love for education and his desire to see each child succeed, attaining his or her greatest potential. Working with Mr. Martin, you also realized how much he loved his own family and how proud he was of his children. My husband, James, taught one or all of you at Reynolds! We extend our deepest sympathy to you. May God bless you all, Mary Belle Carroll

  24. I am saddened to hear of the passing of Fred Martin. I graduated high school with Bart and I send my deepest condolences to you all. Mr. Martin was the principal at Bell Elementary where I attended. I remember him fondly.


    Laura Pickens

  25. Dear Sally and Family,
    I offer my deepest condolences to you and your family. Mr Martin was my high school principal at Owen and my childrens principal at Bell. He always had a smile and a joke for the children, no matter where he saw them. We will miss him too.

    Patricia Wilson Myers

  26. My most sincere condolences to Sally and to all of Fred’s family. I regret that I am in Chicago today and unable to attend visitation or memorial services. I have known Fred for more than 35 years; working with him, and for him, during his years as Superintendent of the Buncombe County Schools remains a highlight in my personal and professional life. Fred was a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration; he was a superior and dedicated educator and administrator. He was committed to the education of children in Buncombe County and he chose not to accept professional opportunities in any other school systems. I admired and respected Fred more than any other person I met during my career in public education. Although I have not actively maintained my relationship with Fred during his retirement, I am deeply saddened by his death and by knowing that he is no longer just a call away. His integrity, influence, and inspiration will remain with me. Fred’s death is a milestone in life to which I have not anticipated with any pleasure.

  27. I regret that I am unable to be with you today, but my entire family sends our deepest sympathy & condolences to your family. I have many fond memories of Mr. Martin, both as principal to my two daughters & as my administrator while I worked at Bell Elementary. I remember how equally & fairly he treated all students & employees. I also remember that he wanted the safest educational environment possible & the opportunity for all children to receive the best possible education. Protecting instructional time was important in this plan. He certainly led by example. We will miss him terribly. Our thoughts & prayers will be with you.

  28. Sally, my thoughts are with you and your family during this time. Fred was such a gentleman and when I was with Buncombe Schools, he was a great supporter for me. You and I were students together at UNC-A in biology, too. I know that you will miss Fred. He did a lot of good for our community. Jane Luther

  29. Mrs Martin and family, I am so sorry for the loss of Mr Martin. I was a bus driver at Bell when he was a principle and thought the world of him. He wanted the very best for each student and for their safety as well. He always knew each and every childs name and was so gentle and kind to each child and fellow employees. He will truely be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this time.

  30. Sally and Family,
    We cherish the years we have known and been associated with Fred. He will always be a part of us. He has been an inspiration to many people and will be greatly missed.

  31. Sally and family;
    I remember seeing Mr. Martin’s signature on my report card as the Superintendent during my years in elementary school. When I drove a bus for him at Bell ‘back in the day’ as a high school student I got to know him and appreciate his fine character. I’ll never forget him loading the buses on the last day of school wearing that big sombrero! I enjoyed seeing and talking with him over the years as our paths crossed and became increasingly aware of his caring nature. His ability to lead others with respect and appreciation for hard work shall serve as an example for us all. I’m certainly honored to have been of service to him and you last month. We’ll continue to pray that you will feel God’s strength in the days ahead.

  32. Bart and family,
    I am saddened to hear of your loss but am comforted to know that our blessing on earth is now an eternal blessing in heaven. You have my thoughts and prayers.

  33. To Bart Martin & Family –
    I was very sad to hear about the passing of your father. Mr. Martin was an inspiration to many of us. I attended Charles C Bell and remember him fondly as a caring & genuine man.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  34. Mrs. Sally,

    I hated to hear about Fred. He was a strong man, who had a big smile if you could ever get him too! I miss seeing both of you at Dr. Glance’s office (remember I’m the old nurse). I just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you and missed you.

  35. Mrs. Sally,

    I hated to hear about Fred. He was a strong man, with a beautiful smile. I miss seeing both of you at Dr. Glance’s office (remember I’m the old nurse). I just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you and missed you.

  36. Sally, Please accept my sincere condolences. I did not know about Fred until yesterday. You two shared a lot of love. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
    Love and prayers,
    Sue Greene

  37. Dear Sally and family,
    A friend called me when I was out of town to tell me of Mr. Martin’s passing. He hired me 14 yrs. ago to teach at Bell and I’ll always be grateful for that. Mr. Martin really cared about each of his students and teachers. Lots of fond memories… He will certainly be missed.
    Take care.

  38. Dear Sally:

    I just now found out about Fred. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Fred and my Dad, Francis Huntley, worked together over the years and were the best of friends. Dad passed away last November. I remember seeing you at the funeral. Fred and my Dad had the interests of the students of Buncombe county at heart throughout their careers and it showed in their accomplishments. They both leave great legacies and are sorely missed. Once again, my deepest sympathy.

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