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"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living"
Marcus Tullius Cicero


Jean Eloise Martin

Jean Eloise Martin

Jean Eloise Martin was born in Cooper Hospital, Camden, New Jersey, February 25, 1936 to Leslie Martin, Sr. and Mary E. Ford-Martin.   She was raised in Woodbury, New Jersey where she attended Carpenter Street School and graduated from Woodbury High School in 1953. 


 She was blessed in Bethlehem Baptist Church in Woodbury New Jersey where she attended as a little girl with her family.  She later attended Bethel A.M.E. Church Sunday School with her cousins Janice and James Jr. (Bubby) and brother Leslie Jr.    Jean joined Bethel, March 9, 1953.  She was active with the Sunday School, Youth Choir and taught Vacation Bible School.   She always appreciated the fact that her parents didn’t mind her going with her cousins to an A.M.E. Church as long as she was going to church.


She married the late Rev. Charles E. Martin March 13, 1955.  To this union 3 children were born; Pamela, Kathi and Duane.  After they were married the Rev. Martin answered the call to go into the ministry. She and her children were supportive and they made many transitions as he served in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and two tours in Bermuda.  

Following graduation, her first job was Clerk Typist for the United States Marine Corps in Philadelphia, Pa. where she started in September 1953.  She worked with various agencies in the government including Navy Ships Parts Control and Internal Revenue Service over the years as she traveled with her husband.  She also worked for the Friends Service Committee and Prudential in Newark.  Her last job was with Telcordia in Piscataway N.J. where she worked for 16-1/2 years until she was laid off.

Jean was a Missionary member for over 60 years.   When her husband was appointed as Presiding Elder, she served as Consultant for Bermuda, the Camden-Trenton District and the New Brunswick District in New Jersey.  She served as the Missionary Advisor for all the churches her husband pastored.

While serving with her husband in Bermuda for 2 separate tours she organized a children’s choir at Mt. Zion A.M.E. Church and Bright Temple A.M.E. Church.  She worked with the Boy and Girl Brigade’s at Vernon Temple A.M.E. Church and also as Y.P.D. Director.    At St. Matthew A.M.E. Church in Orange she organized and financed Friday night community youth activities...  At Mt. Zion, Plainfield, N.J. she was instrumental in forming a Praise Dance Team.  She was quite honored when they named the group the JEM Praise ‘Dancers. 

She was recipient of the Quality-of-Life Award given by the Rahway Branch of the N.A.A.C.P. November 2, 2007.

She volunteered for Food for Friends at Second Presbyterian Church, Rahway and collected magazines, and VHS tapes for a rehab center. She was an active member of the Pioneers, a volunteer outreach group at Telcordia Technologies in Piscataway.   While there she was Chairperson of the Hug-A-Bear Project for the Southern Council, and collected children’s books for Lunch Break.  She was a Life Member and still enjoyed dressing the bears every year since retirement and sharing them with others to dress.

 She was Queen and Founder of the Rahway Glad Red Hatters established in 2002 with the help of Jean Robertson and the late Ann Parker.

She was an active member of Ebenezer A.M.E. Church where she served as an usher and was past worship leader of the organization.  She was an active member of the Deborah Missionary Society where she served as secretary for many years.  During the tenure of Rev. Erika Crawford, she served as Leading Lady and as Advisor for the Deborah Missionary Society.  Her heart’s desire was always to be an usher and she was very happy when she got the opportunity to do so.

The joy of Jean’s life was her family.  She was pre-deceased by her father Leslie Martin Sr., Mother Mary E. Ford-Martin, husband, Rev. Charles E. Martin, brother Leslie Jr. a baby sister Elaine, and daughter Pamela.  She is survived by her daughter Rev. Dr. Kathi Martin (Shana,) and son Duane, Sr. (Karla) She is also survived by 8 grandchildren Corey (Alecia), Drew, Deja (Jesse), Dionna, Chanel, Duane Jr., Domonique and Cameron, 7 great-grands Cyana, Jamiah, Tyseph, Hendrix, David, Jonathan and Marissa.  She is also survived by Sister Doris Cooper (Dennis) Sister-in-love Marjorie Martin, Godson Ryan (Julie) Niece Lauren, Nephew Michael, great nephews Domonic and Ryder and other nieces, cousins and very good friends.

Her favorite song was “Yes God is Real”.  Her favorite Gospel Singer was Mahalia Jackson.  Her favorite scripture was the 27th Psalm.  Her favorite verse is the 1st:  The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear; the Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid.

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