James Herbert Martin, 75, of Syracuse, passed away June 24, 2019 at Upstate Hospital at Community. Jim fought a courageous battle with prostate cancer for an extended period at home.
He was born on March 18, 1944 in Martinsville, VA to Herbert and Mary (Holt) Martin and came to Rome in 1944 after his father, Herbert, a member of the 2288th Quartermaster Trucking Company was transferred to the Rome Army Air Depot, Griffiss Airfield, Rome, NY.
He attended Rome Public Schools and graduated from Rome Free Academy in 1962. Athletically, he was a standout in track and field and was a member of many champion relay teams and held the record for the 100-yard dash for many years. After graduating from Rome Free Academy, he attended Howard University, Washington, D.C. before being drafted into the U.S. Army where he served with the 130th Station Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany and was honorably discharged as a medical supply specialist fifth class in April 1967.
Jim returned to college and placing a value on education, earned an associate degree from Onondaga Community College, a bachelor of science from Le Moyne College and a masters of science from Oswego College, among others.
Jim attended First Tabernacle Church of God in Christ as a youth and teenager and professed a faith in Jesus Christ as he grew in the church family.
He retired from Onondaga Community College after 30 years as an associate professor and counselor providing academic, personal and career counseling for general population, minority, and EOP students. He also chaired the Affirmative Action committee for eight years, chaired the Minority Faculty and Staff Organization for four years and served on several faculty and college committees. He was the interim director of the Education Opportunity Program and the Project Manager of the Urban Extension Program and was committed to helping those in need to prepare, educate and achieve and has many of those he has counseled or taught as friends.
He enjoyed time spent at WOLF Radio hosting and producing minority oriented public affairs and music programs and hosted a weekly program called The Black Experience on WOLF Radio.
Jim is survived by his long-time partner, Gwendolyn McKinnon, Syracuse; four brothers and two sisters-in-law, Larry Martin of Syracuse, Leonard and Karen Martin of Rome, Richard L. Martin and his partner, Cynthia Drake of Syracuse and David A. and Daphiene Martin of Maryland. Jim was especially proud of his nieces and nephews, their achievements and recent graduations.
He had special friends, Victor and Engracia Powell, West Palm Beach, FL., and someone who acted as an older brother, Sidney Parker, Rome, NY.
Despite his time of pain and suffering, Jim wanted a time of celebration. The Martin family would also like to extend a sincere gratitude for all thoughts, prayers, support and assistance given in this difficult time.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, June 30, 2019 from 3 - 6 p.m. at Thomas J. Pirro Jr. Funeral Home, 3401 Vickery Rd. (corner of Buckley Rd.) North Syracuse, NY. An additional calling hour will be held on Monday, July 1, 2019 from 10 - 11 a.m. at First Tabernacle Pentecostal Christian Center, 8086 Turin Rd., Rome, NY, followed by a Funeral Service in celebration of Jim’s life at 11 a.m. at the church. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery, Rome, NY.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the First Tabernacle Pentecostal Christian Center Building Fund, 8086 Turin Rd., Rome, NY 13440. 315-336-1167
Words of comfort may be expressed at tjpfuneralhome.com