Dr. Gilbert A. Martin Jr., born to Gilbert and Lenore Martin in Fairmont in 1929, is survived by wife, Catheryn "Kit" of 68 years; brother, Robert; five children, Adriane Miles (Matt), Gilbert Martin III, Beth Kaye (Jonathan), Diane Vaughn (Jeff) and Kathryn Martin; four grandchildren, Sean Stripling, Kelly Kite (Jenn), Corey Martin (Kristi) and Catheryn Miles; and two great-grandchildren, Willa Kite and Reagan Martin.
Gilbert is a graduate of West Fairmont High School, West Virginia University and Jefferson Medical School. While attending WVU, he played on the golf team, was a member of the Phi Beta Pi fraternity as well as the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. As a devoted Mountaineer, he kept his passion for the university's athletic teams throughout his life.
After medical school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. During his service in the military, he became the first Army physician to be given the designation of flight surgeon and left the Army with the rank of captain.
In 1963, he and his family relocated to Daytona Beach, Florida, where he joined the area's first orthopedic practice alongside partners, Dr. Thurman Gillespy, Dr. Mel Dodd and Dr. William Stose. He worked tirelessly caring for his patients for more than 50 years at both his practice and the Halifax Medical Center.
His many honors include the Certificate of Appreciation for support of Shiner's Hospitals for crippled and burned children and recognition for his years of medical service by Halifax Health Foundation in support of their important mission. Gilbert also served as team doctor for the Father Lopez basketball and football teams even after his children had graduated.
Gilbert was lovingly known to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren as "Papaw" and "Pa" and to his friends as "Gil."
In his free time, he enjoyed playing golf and telling stories with his friends at Oceanside Country Club.
Some of his favorite memories included vacationing with his family in the Cayman Islands while his children were growing up, and in his later years relaxing at the family's mountain home on Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.
The only thing that rivaled his passion for the Mountaineers was his compassion for animals. Whether it be caring for an injured stray or watching football with his dogs, Gil was a friend to animals of all kinds.
It has been said, "If you have made just one other person's life better, then your life was worth living." Gilbert touched and improved more lives than most of us ever will. A compassionate doctor, a generous friend, a loving father and husband, Gilbert will be deeply missed. His friends and family will cherish memories of him for the rest of their lives and carry him close to their hearts.
Published on April 26, 2017