Martin remembered for loving his family

January 04, 2002

Martin remembered for loving his family


One of Harold Leroy Martin's greatest joys in life was being a great-grandfather, his grandson, the Rev. Dean Pryor, said.

"He loved his three great-grandsons. He loved to play with them and put them on his knee," said Pryor, pastor of Hagerstown Grace Brethren Church.

Martin, 71, died Wednesday from head injuries he sustained in a fall after climbing through a window to get into his locked house.

A spiritual man, Martin was devoted to his church of 35 years, Hagerstown Grace Brethren. He served as treasurer, trustee and was a member of the choir.


"He read the Bible every day," Pryor said.

Pryor said he used that same Bible to prepare for his grandfather's funeral and found comfort in reading the same passages his grandfather had.

Each highlighted passage was marked with the day Martin read it, Pryor said.

An avid gardener, Martin spent time at the church and at his East Lincoln Avenue home, mulching flower beds and doing other yard work, Pryor said.

His grandfather had carpentry and electrical skills and could be counted on to fix things around the house, he said.

Pryor said he will cherish memories of the recent holidays spent with his grandfather.

"We got him on video with his great-grandsons," he said.

During their family's Christmas celebration, Martin was asked what would be the greatest gift he could receive.

"He said he wanted to be with grandma," Pryor said.

Martin's wife of 54 years, Vivian Pryor, died in March of congestive heart failure.

"Now, they are in heaven together. That is the hope that we have in this terrible time," Pryor said.

Martin worked for years at Maugansville Elevator Co. before retiring in 1998 to care for his sick wife, his grandson said.

"My grandfather was a very giving man and would do anything for anyone," Pryor said.

His grandfather's death was a shock to the family because it was such a freak accident and Martin had been in good health, Pryor said.

Martin always kept the front door locked and would come and go through the garage, he said.

On Wednesday, the garage door opener malfunctioned and his grandfather climbed up a ladder to a narrow bathroom window.

As he climbed into the room he fell and hit his head, Pryor said.

"This was a terrible accident. Our entire family right now is in shock. Yet God has comforted us in this time of grief," Pryor wrote in an e-mail to The Herald-Mail.

Pryor said he can picture his grandfather sitting next to his sister during last Sunday's service.

"He had the nicest smile on his face. He was always at peace with God and contributed so much time and talent to our church. We will miss him dearly."

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