Joseph Bacon Martin III ’62 died July 1, 2006, at home at Lake Norman. Joe was born in Winnsboro, S.C., and educated at Davidson, University of Minnesota, and Duke University, where he received his Ph.D. in Medieval English. In 1962-63, he was assistant director of admission and financial aid at Davidson. He joined NCNB (Bank of America) in 1973.
He left in 1978 to take a position at Queens College as vice president for development and college relations. He returned to the bank five years later as CEO Hugh McColl, Jr.’s right hand man, and became widely known for his advocacy for tolerance and against racial discrimination. He was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church.
In 1997, Davidson College awarded him the John W. Kuykendall Community Service Award. Other awards included the Echo Award Against Indifference for promoting racial harmony. In 2005, ImaginOn, the Joe and Joan Martin Center, the uptown children’s library and theatre complex, was opened. In 2006, he was awarded the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Humanitarian Award.
Even, and especially, after his diagnosis with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), he continued his call for greater harmony in the human family, through writing and public appearances. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rev. Arthur M. Martin ’25 and Mary G. Martin.
Survivors include his wife, Joan Werness Martin, Charlotte, N.C. formerly of Minneapolis, Minn., and by their three children, Joe B. Martin ’89 and his wife, Jodi Martin; Elizabeth Martin and her husband, Marshall Curry’ and David Martin ’97.
Other survivors include his three brothers, Arthur Martin, Jr. ’56 and his wife, Jackie; James Martin ’57 and his wife, Dottie; and Neal Martin ’68 and his wife, Mary; and numerous grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.