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Karen King Martin

Karen King Martin, age 82 of Barnesville, Georgia, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 5, 2021 at Eternal Hope Hospice in Griffin, Georgia. She was born in Barnesville to Ernestine and Kenneth King on November 14th,1938, her father’s birthday. Kenneth always said that she was his greatest birthday gift of all and they enjoyed many celebrations together until his death in 1991. Along with her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Harold Martin. Karen is survived by her daughter, Dawn Usher Schlich, and son-in-law, Bob Schlich of Saint Simons Island, Georgia; sister, Judith Anderson and brother-in-law, Robert Anderson of Zebulon, Georgia. Karen loved her small town and received her early years of education at Gordon Grammar School and Gordon Military College. During the following years she attended Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia where she joined the Phi Mu sorority and studied one semester at the University of Miami. She graduated from Tift College in Forsyth, Georgia with a B.A. in English in 1959. She received a Masters of Education in English from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia in 1968. Karen was not only a teacher, but a counselor, drama coach, tennis coach for the men’s tennis team and a frequent announcer at Gordon Football games. Karen taught English and Speech at Gordon Military College for many years as well as teaching English at Lamar County Comprehensive High School in Barnesville. Karen loved teaching so much and would often say that she ‘felt guilty for taking a paycheck.’ In 1976, Karen met Harold, an attorney from Jackson, Georgia, on a blind date and told him she always wanted to be an attorney. A week later she was enrolled in John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. For several years, Harold would drive Karen to Atlanta 3 days a week after her day at school to attend night classes. After passing the bar exam, Martin & Martin law offices were established in Barnesville. Martin & Martin specialized in general, civil and criminal law. After a few years of practicing, Karen was designated the first Attorney of the Year in Towaliga Judicial Circuit and honored by her peers who chose her from the three-county circuit. Karen and Harold loved to travel and spent many vacations on St. Croix in the Virgin Islands and in Maui, Hawaii. Karen also loved playing the slot machines in both Las Vegas, Nevada and Biloxi, Mississippi. In her later years, Karen enjoyed visiting Dawn & Bob on Saint Simons Island. After Harold’s death in 2007 at age 81, Karen discovered a love for the United Methodist Church in Barnesville and attended regularly. She enjoyed the company of many friends and had her special place on the pew as well as a parking place across the street which she claimed as ‘hers.’ She was faithful to the church and had strong religious convictions rarely missing a Sunday service. Karen was very involved in the Greenwood Cemetery committee and served as secretary since its onset. She loved the results of the beautification with the arched entrance, beautiful brick walls and streetlamps. Karen embraced life and would want us to know that she lived and loved fully. The full moon, the neighborhood chickens and roosters, the birds and the fish in her koi pond all provided hours of solace and contentment. She could relax and appreciate the marvels of nature in her own flower filled backyard. Karen became a close companion and special friend of Joe Medcalf whom she had known for many years. Joe liked to play golf and Karen took up the sport with enthusiasm. Joe bought her a set of golf clubs and they frequented the golf course for many years. She and Joe enjoyed their time together until his death in 2012. Having been licensed for 37 years since 1983, Karen continued practicing law well after retirement age. A self-professed ‘workaholic’ she loved her job and was truly dedicated to helping others. She had a fierce determination to do her best in her law practice and would not stop until she helped her clients as much as she possibly could. On Friday, December 18th, Karen met friends for dinner. Sadly, after returning home from dinner she suffered what would become a fatal fall on the front porch of her home. The family would like to give a huge thank you to Carren Debari, a very special friend and caregiver for both Karen and Harold for many years and also to the hospice staff at Eternal Hope in Griffin, Georgia. Due to Covid-19, an indoor funeral service will not be held. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at Greenwood Cemetery in Barnesville. The family requests all attendees wear masks at the graveside service. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may contribute to Karen’s favorite charity in her memory: St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to Greenwood Cemetery Preservation Association, 109 Forsyth Street, Barnesville, GA 30204. Checks can be made payable to GCPA and all contributions are tax deductible. Williams-Westbury Funeral Home in Barnesville is in charge of arrangements.

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