Abner Lavell Martin, 89, passed away Dec. 8, 2013 at his home in Central, Arizona, surrounded by his loving family.
Lavell was born January 3, 1924 to Joseph Abner and Mary Ann Jenkins Martin. He was one of 11 children and gained two step-sisters later in life.
In his youth, he was a hard worker and learned many skills while employed at the old Central Market. Lavell was proud of his working years as a cotton ginner, owning the Corner Market grocery store in Safford, boiler operator at Magma Copper and his life as a farmer-rancher in the San Pedro Valley near Mammoth. He served in the US Army during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries in France. In his spare time he loved his grandchildren, playing the harmonica, gardening, lapidary work and silversmithing.
Lavell married Nadine Layton in 1942 and 10 children were born of this union (and not a bad one in the bunch). After Nadine’s passing in 1992, Lavell married Laree Richardson Herbert, which brought four stepsons into the family for a total of 14 children. He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many positions in the church. His favorite calling was serving in the Mesa Temple for 7 years, 3 ½ with Nadine and 3 ½ with Laree.
Lavell is survived by his children, Verdean (Robert) Smith, Cindy (David) Carter, Grant Martin, Emma (Jon) Batty, Nada (Jimmy) Spurgeon, Pearl Hernandez, Velda (Darvel) Green, Jim (Liz) Martin, Brent (Jan) Martin, and Fred (Sherry) Martin; and stepsons, Ron Herbert, Spencer Herbert, Brent (Diane) Herbert; siblings, Elaine Dallas, James (Margie) Martin, Phil (Kay) Martin, Marva Bryce, Russell (Ina) Martin, and Merna Hubbard; 70 grandchildren, 159 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his spouses, Nadine and Laree; stepson, Terry Herbert; his parents; and siblings, Hoyt, Hugh “Butch”, Alvin, Erma, Farrel and Kay Fyffe.
Funeral Services were held Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the Old Central LDS Chapel.
Interment followed at the Central Cemetery. Military Honors were provided by the Gila Valley Honor Guard.
Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel. Online condolences can be extended at www.caldwellfuneralchapel.com.