Military Wiki
Roy Otis Martin Jr.
File:Roy O. Martin, Jr., of Alexandria, LA.jpg
Born (1921-06-03)June 3, 1921
Memphis, Tennessee, USA

March 22, 2007(2007-03-22) (aged 85)
Alexandria, Rapides Parish

Place of burial Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville, Louisiana
Residence Alexandria, Louisiana
Alma mater

Bolton High School

Louisiana State University
Occupation Lumber industrialist; philanthropist
Political party Republican
Religion United Methodist Church

(1) Barbara "Bobbie" Morros Martin (married 1942-1993, her death)

(2) Vinita Johnson Martin (married 1994-2007, her death)

From first marriage:
Marilyn M. Robbins
Joyce M. Thibodeaux
Carole M. Baxter

Roy O. Martin, III

Roy O. Martin, Sr.

Mildred Brown Martin

Roy Otis Martin Jr. (June 3, 1921 – March 22, 2007), was a timber industrialist and philanthropist from Alexandria, Louisiana.


Martin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Roy O. Martin, Sr. (1890-1973) and Mildred Brown Martin (1892-1995). In 1923, the family relocated to Alexandria, the parish seat of Rapides Parish and the largest city in Central Louisiana. There they launched Roy O. Martin Lumber Company. Roy Jr. graduated in 1939 from Bolton High School in the Alexandria Garden District. Thereafter, he studied engineering at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where he was a member of Sigma Pi fraternity.[1] During World War II, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard, in which he served in the Atlantic as a Machinist's mate First Class. In 1942, he married the former Barbara "Bobbie" Morros, the mother of his three daughters and namesake son. The marriage ended in 1993, when Mrs. Martin died of cancer.[2]

Business success

After the war, Martin returned to Alexandria, where he subsequently succeeded his father as president of Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, now headed by his son, Roy O. Martin, III (born June 1960)[3][4] Under Martin, the company expanded from 250,000 to more than 370,000 acres between 1962 and 1978 and was one of the largest family-owned businesses in the American South.[2] Roy O. Martin manufactures hardwood lumber, pine and hardwood plywood, and creosoted railroad ties, poles, and timbers.[5] The company also offers hunting leases.[6] Martin formerly operated a sawmill at Roy, also known as "Roytown", in Bienville Parish in North Louisiana; the community is named for Roy Martin, Sr.

In 2004, the Martin company won the Forest Stewardship Award from the National Hardwood Lumber Association meeting in Toronto, Canada.[7]

Civic, church, political, and philanthropic endeavors

Long active in Lions International, Martin was a founder of the Lions Crippled Children's Camp in Leesville in Vernon Parish in western Louisiana. He served until the age of seventy on the board of the Rapides Bank and Trust Company, since absorbed by Bank One Corporation. He was a charter member of the board which established the private Alexandria Country Day School. He was highly active in the First United Methodist Church in Alexandria and, a believer in faith-based charities, the Salvation Army. Under his leadership, the Salvation Army raised $500,000 for a new building and shelter on Beauregard Street in Alexandria.[2]

Martin was a board member of the Public Affairs Research Council and the trade association known as the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, which scored a victory in the Louisiana State Legislature in 1976 for right-to-work legislation. An active Republican donor and a one-time member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee,[8] Martin was a delegate to the 1980 and the 1984 Republican National Conventions, which met in Detroit and Dallas, respectively, to nominate the Reagan-Bush ticket. From 1980 to 1984, he was a member of the Louisiana Board of Commerce and Industry, a post he filled under appointment from GOP Governor David C. Treen.[2]

On October 7, 1994, a year after his wife's death. Martin married Vinita Johnson (1918-2007), formerly of Garden City, Kansas, the widow of John Herbert Johnson, who operated a poultry packing plant in Alexandria.[9] The Martins established the Roy and Vinita J. Martin Endowed Professorship in Math and Science at Louisiana State University at Alexandria, the thirteenth such professor at the institution. Advocates of prison ministries, the Martins endowed the ecumenical chapel at the Avoyelles Correctional Center in Cottonport in Avoyelles Parish south of Alexandria.[2]

A long-term supporter of Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Martin in 2005 was named a "Louisiana Legend", along with the civil rights pioneer Andrew Young, the comedian Kix Brooks, and the LSU athletic legends Paul Dietzel and Sue Gunter. In 2006, Martin was featured in Cenla Focus magazine as "Cenla-ian of the Year".[2]

Death and legacy

Martin died at his Alexandria residence at the age of eighty-five. His second wife Vinita had died on January 1, 2007, eighty-one days before his passing.[9]

Martin was survived by four children, Marilyn M. Robbins and her husband, Don, of Dubach in Lincoln Parish, Joyce Thibodeaux and her husband, Bill, of Houma in Terrebonne Parish, Carole M. Baxter and husband, Lee, of Alexandria (formerly Carole Couvillion), and Roy O. Martin, III, and wife Kathy, also of Alexandria; eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. He had two surviving brothers, Ellis Spencer Martin (1917-2013) of Pineville, who was also in the timber business for many years,[10] and Norman K. Martin (born c. 1927) of Leawood in Johnson County in eastern Kansas,[11] and two sisters, Esther M. Floyd of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Mildred Virginia Martin Howard (1916-2009), a musician and retired music educator from Pineville,[11] the sister city of Alexandria. From his marriage to Vinita, he acquired two step-daughters, Linda Vollman of Bunkie in Avoyelles Parish, and Jan Ford of Natchitoches, Louisiana. Martin is interred at Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville.[12]

A month after his father's death, Roy O. Martin, III, through Martco, a division of Roy O. Martin Lumber Company, unveiled a $200 million oriented-strand-board plant near Oakdale in Allen Parish southwest of Alexandria. The largest plant of its kind in the world, the facility initially employed 170 persons.[13] Like his father, Roy O. Martin, III, is heavily involved in civic activities. He holds two degrees from LSU and is a member of the Alumni Hall of Distinction. In 2012, Governor Bobby Jindal appointed him to serve on the Louisiana Board of Regents. A Southern Baptist and a Republican, Martin, III, is affiliated with Habitat for Humanity and the Salvation Army.[4]

In 2004, James E. "Sonny" Carter of Natchitoches published through Claitor's of Baton Rouge, Life by the Board Foot: Roy O. Martin and the Martin Companies.[14]


  1. "Spies Like Us". Spring 1989. pp. 26. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Roy O. Martin Jr. obituary". The Shreveport Times. March 24, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  3. "Click Roy Martin, June 1960". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Roy O. Martin III from Alexandria". Louisiana Board of Regents. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  5. "Roy O. Martin Lumber Company". Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  6. "Hunting Leases". Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  7. "Roy O. Martin Lumber Company wins 2004 forest stewardship award". 2005. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  8. "Alexandria, Louisiana (LA) Political Contributions by Individuals". 2003–2004. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lamar White Jr. (January 2, 2007). "Vinita Johnson Martin Dies At Age 88". Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  10. "Ellis Spencer Martin dies". KALB-TV. October 19, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Mildred Virginia Martin Howard". The Advocate. May 3, 2009. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  12. "Roy Otis Martin, Jr.". March 24, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  13. Tom Bonnette (April 24, 2007). "Growing in Cenla: Martco 's $200M OSB plant near Oakdale is world's largest". Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  14. James E. Carter (January 1, 2004). Life by the Board Foot: Roy O. Martin and the Martin Companies. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Claitor's Publishing Company. pp. 314. ASIN 1579809855. ISBN 978-1579809850. 

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