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Harold Edward Martin Jr.

Surrounded by friends, Ed Martin died peacefully in his adopted home state of California early Thursday morning, Jan. 15, 2015. Harold Edward ‘Ed’ Martin, Jr., age 66, was born in Macon, Ga., Nov. 10, 1948, son of the late Harold E. and Iris B. Martin. Ed attended Sidney Lanier Senior High School in Macon before entering Oxford College of Emory University in the fall of 1963, at age 15. After graduating from Oxford, Ed attended Emory University from which he received his bachelor’s degree in history in December of 1968. Upon graduation, Ed moved to northern California to fight forest fires and was a draft counselor during the Vietnam War years. He first served as a fire tower lookout and began his lifelong love of northern California, particularly Grass Valley and Nevada City. He lived and returned to this area for the balance of his life, along with periods spent in Georgia, where he furthered his education and practiced law. Ed returned to Georgia in the early 1970s to enter John Marshall Law School, from which he graduated in 1975. Later that year Ed was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia and began his legal career. For a time, he practiced law in the then-Flint Judicial Circuit in middle Georgia, before he became active with the Georgia Power Project, working to keep consumer rates low. During this time Ed was also active in the formation of one of Atlanta’s first food cooperatives, Sevananda and contributed to The Great Speckled Bird. He received immense satisfaction from his participation in a wide variety of Atlanta’s counter-cultural activities. After, he returned to the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Once there, he worked as a construction supervisor. Each fire season he resumed his work with the fire service in northern California. Several years later, Ed returned to the practice of law in the Atlanta area. At this time, he began his participation in the Peachtree Road Race and indulged his love of the outdoors by taking numerous camping trips, including hiking along the Appalachian Trail. Ed also participated in and twice won the Atlanta Open Orthographic Meet, the Bee, which originated at The Stein Club. Through the years, as a judge and committee member, he followed the Spelling Bee to Manuel’s Tavern. It was within this time in Georgia that Ed briefly practiced law with his father in Barnesville. He also acted as an adjunct professor at Clayton State College in Morrow before his concern for environment issues led him to enter the University of Georgia Masters Program to study forestry. Ed enjoyed a dual enrollment at Georgia Institute of Technology studying city planning. There he began his prolonged association with WREK, Georgia Tech’s student radio station. This was his final lengthy tenure in Georgia. In 2003, Ed made California his permanent home. He was admitted to the California Bar and began his work with the Nevada City, Calif., planning department, where he worked for years. Ed threw himself into the cultural life of Nevada County, Calif., in various capacities. In 2010, he began his association with KDVS, the student radio station at the Davis Campus of the University of California, which he discovered years earlier while on duty as a lookout in the fire towers of northern California. Ed was a producer of Cactus Corners, his weekend show, and was a chief encourager of the KDVS staff. Ed loved music of all types from opera to avant-garde contemporary works. He left the station about one year ago desiring to return, one last time, to the peace and solitude of the life of a fire lookout at Saddleback Mountain in the Tahoe National Forest. It was here that his final illness overtook him. In addition to music and the forest, Ed loved baseball, from its history to the Atlanta Braves. Through his presence on campuses, Ed developed intense interest in women’s collegiate sports, especially women’s volleyball and the University of Georgia women’s gymnastics team. His radio work included coverage of these sports. His great love, as a lifelong learner, was the written word. His books traveled with him across the country and he consistently remembered family and friends with postcards, letters and emails. Ed is survived by his two younger sisters, Linda M. Wells and Sallye R. Martin; niece Megan W. MacDonald; her husband, Sean M. MacDonald; their two children, Owen and Nora, and several cousins. Despite his weakening health, he traveled to Georgia last fall to visit family and friends. There will be a memorial service from 5 to 7 pm on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Sierra Mountain Coffee Roasters/Tomes, Ed’s home away from home for many years. Ed’s station IDs can still be heard on WREK.

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