July 16, 1943 - January 4, 2022
The Honorable Lawrence Dent Martin, Circuit Court Judge (ret.), 78, died on January 4, 2022, at Avow Hospice in Naples, Florida. His passing leaves an enormous hole, and words are woefully inadequate to describe a life so large, and so well lived. Our best efforts are these: Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Larry completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Virginia, where he was accepted into the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Undoubtedly, the greatest rewards for his time at “The University” were the life-long friendships he formed there, most especially with his freshman year roommate, the inimitable Randy Peyton. After college, he attended the University of Florida, College of Law, aided by the U.S. Army, ROTC. While there, he married Sarah Covington Hollyday of Easton, MD, and started the law school’s student paper, the publication of which continues to this day (albeit quite a bit less controversial than it was during its Vietnam-era founding). After obtaining his law degree, he entered service in the U.S. Army JAG Corps, and was stationed at Fort Huachuca, AZ, and later the Pentagon. Upon completing his service to his country in 1973, Captain Martin settled his young family in Naples, FL, and remained here ever since. He practiced general trial law with George Vega and a number of others before entering solo practice in office space that he shared with his virtual twin and fellow Wahoo, Joe Stewart. In 1998, he was appointed to serve as a County Court Judge by Governor Lawton Chiles, a Democrat. Then in 2003, he was appointed to the Circuit Court by Governor Jeb Bush, a Republican. He was never opposed in his bids for re-election, and retired in 2009, after enjoying the singular honor of swearing in his daughter as a County Court Judge that same year. In addition to his years of service in the Army and on the Bench, Larry was heavily engaged in serving his community. He was the President of the Board during a formative period (c.1975) for what is today the David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health, spent many years with the East Naples Civic Association and Naples Rotary (Sunset Club), and volunteered with Angel Flight to assist persons with transport for medical purposes. For these reasons and so many more, Larry was honored and humbled by his recent designation as a Significant Sig by his beloved fraternity for all of the many ways in which he’d represented the Brotherhood so well after his graduation. Despite his myriad acts of service and achievement, Larry was best known for how brilliantly he managed to have fun. He flew his Cessna 210 all over the Eastern U.S. and throughout the Caribbean. He was even known to fly to Key West or the Bahamas just for lunch, when time was short. His legendary dinner parties centered on snook he’d caught from his dock, fresh margaritas, and raucous sing-alongs with his guitar and incredible voice (a better Elvis than Elvis), to the delight of so many dear friends over the years. Larry’s generous spirit also reached well past his friends, as he welcomed so many new professionals to town with an invitation out on his boat to try their luck water-skiing. Larry is survived by his devoted wife, Donna Lamond Martin, his proud daughter, the Honorable Janeice T. Martin, brother Edgar A. Martin III, sister Janeice (Tom) Roy, brother R. Erik (Candy) Martin, sister Hedvig (Tony) Lavorgna, his nieces and nephews, and countless dear friends, both old and new. He was preceded in death by his father, Edgar A. Martin II, his mother, Janeice B. Wright, step-father Harry J. Wright, step-mother Hedvig Martin, and life-long friend Randolph G. Peyton. Not a day went by that he did not recall fondly each of these loved ones, and the firm belief that he has been reunited with them all brings joy and comfort to his surviving family and friends. Consistent with Larry’s wishes, there will be no public services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the David Lawrence Centers.
The Honorable Lawrence Dent Martin, Circuit Court Judge (ret.), 78, died on January 4, 2022, at Avow Hospice in Naples, Florida. His passing leaves an enormous hole, and words are woefully inadequate to describe a life so large, and so well... View Obituary & Service Information
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