Originally published in the Harrison Daily Times of Harrison, Arkansas.

James Kenneth Martin

June 30, 1928 – Sept. 17, 2014

James Kenneth MartinJames Kenneth Martin was born the son of James Frank Martin and Stella Vione (Graham) Martin[1] on June 30, 1928, in Searcy County, and departed this life Wednesday, Sept. 17 (2014) at his home in Couch, Missouri, at the age of 86 years.

He was united in marriage on June 3, 1950, in Harrison, to Vinita Hancock.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Vinita Martin, of the home in Couch, Missouri; one son, Dwight Eric Martin and wife, Kimberly Ann, of Couch, Missouri; two grandsons, Blake Eric Martin and wife, Michelle, of West Plains, Missouri, and Derrick James Martin, of Springfield, Missouri; one great-granddaughter, Kylee Brooke Martin; one great-grandson, Wyatt Matthew Martin; two brothers, Dalph Martin of Hasty, and John Henry Martin and wife, Ardith, of Hasty; several nieces and nephews; other relatives; and many friends.    

He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Stella Martin; an infant son, Arlin Carroll Martin; and two sisters, Bernice Earwood and Imogene Davis.

Kenneth was a graduate of the Mt. Judea High School in Newton County, graduating with the class of 1948.

Farm life was Kenneth and Vinita’s way of life. They lived and raised their family in Hasty, for 33 years and continued the same farm tradition after moving to Couch. Through their dedication and Kenneth’s long hours and hard work on the farm, they developed a successful livestock and beef cattle farming operation.

Kenneth had strong Pentecostal faith, reading and studying his Bible, and attending Midway Pentecostal Church as long as his health permitted.

He will be remembered as a devoted family man, and was well respected by his family, friends, and the community in which he lived.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel at Thayer, Missouri. Graveside services will follow at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at the Holmes Cemetery near Bellefonte, with Brother Derwin Martin officiating.  

Arrangements are under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer, Missouri.


[1] Stella Graham was the daughter of my great grandfather, John Henry Graham. That makes James my first cousin once removed.

In 1958, Kenneth served as a pallbearer at the funeral for his aunt, Callie Watts Graham, per her obituary.


Find A Grave. “James Kenneth Martin,” Memorial 136151373. Retrieved on Sunday, 28 December 2014.

Harrison Daily Times.James Kenneth Martin,” published September 2014. Retrieved on Sunday, 28 December 2014.

Thayer Carter Funeral Home. “James Kenneth Martin,” published 17 September 2014. Retrieved on Sunday, 28 December 2014.