Obituary – Joe Martin

Dec 23rd, 2019 | By | Category: News, Obituaries

Joe MartinThe Tennessee Walking Horse Industry mourns the loss of icon Joseph Daniel Martin, Jr. of Shelbyville, Tennessee. He passed away on Monday, December 16, 2019 at his home. He was born in Gallatin, Tennessee to the late Joseph Daniel Martin and Sue Green Martin. While he was a graduate of Gallatin High School, during his high school years he was beginning his career by riding and training horses with Billy Gray at the Sumner County Fairgrounds.

Joe was a lifelong dedicated Tennessee Walking Horse trainer and master breeder. Just two days prior to his death, Joe was honored to receive the WHTA’s Lifetime Living Legend Award. Though absent, he was still very present in the hearts and minds of many. Each person stood in applause, recognizing all the years of hard work he endured to help build a great Walking Horse Industry. In addition to his love of horses, he enjoyed University of Tennessee sports, SEC football & basketball, horse racing, professional bull riding and was a huge supporter of Shelbyville girl’s basketball.

If you knew Joe, you would know he loved dogs; big dogs, little dogs and all dogs in between. You would also know that any time when his big orange semi-trailer pulled on the show grounds, something special was going to happen at the horse show that night.

He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Cena Biles Martin of Shelbyville; son, Joe (Mike) Martin-Grimes of Montclair, NJ; first wife, Judy Wiser Martin; stepson, Justin Douglas Reed of Shelbyville; granddaughters, Sydney Martin-Grimes and Kendall Martin-Grimes of Montclair, NJ; grandson, Ethan Martin-Grimes of Montclair, NJ; step-grandson, Jayeton Reed of Shelbyville; sister Mary Glen (Robert) Lassiter of Louisville, KY and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a sister, Suzanne Martin Roddy.

His final days were spent at home surrounded by family and friends who Joe had touched in some way. His final wishes were truly played out and the number of visitors to come through the doors was a tribute to his life.

Though we grieve our loss, there is joy, too in having known and loved such a special person. A Celebration of Life was held on Friday, December 20, 2019. Visitation with the family was held from 4-6 pm at the Blue Ribbon Circle Room on the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Grounds in Shelbyville, Tennessee. A service followed at 6 pm.

Arrangements were made by Moore-Cortner Funeral Home, 300 1stAve NW, Winchester, TN 37398 (931) 967-2222 www.moorecortner.com. The Scoop sends our deepest sympathies to the Martin Family.

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