Cleveland Forrest Martin III, 78, died in his residence on July 5, 2021. He was with his wife of 54 years. They shared this moment as they had many others together holding hands. Cleveland was born to Rudolph and Corrine Martin of Norfolk Va., the third of four children. He is predeceased by his parents, his older brother R. Percell Martin and his son Gregory Martin.
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Cleveland was a student of Crestwood High School. After graduating with Honors in 1961, he turned down acceptance at the University of Virginia to attend North Carolina A&T State University. He matriculated briefly before deciding to start an apprenticeship at the Naval Shipyard. Upon completing his apprenticeship, he was drafted in the U.S. Army in 1966, where he served in Germany. Before he completed his tour of duty, he married the woman who would be his lifelong love, Ernestine McCoy.
Upon being honorably discharged from the Army, he worked at the Naval Shipyard. While holding this position, it was decided that he would matriculate at Norfolk State University in Physics. Upon graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude, he moved his young family to Webster, New York and began what would be a nearly 30 year career with the Xerox Corporation. He became a world traveler while living in Webster. He visited the Netherlands, England, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada as well as many other places. He developed a love for NCAA basketball, especially the Big East. He rarely missed a Big East tournament. However, his dream was to retire in Virginia. So, he built a home on ancestral land right next door to his eldest sister.
Throughout his years, he shared his love for music with his family and used his skills at teaching and math to tutor children, grandchildren, and grand nieces. Teaching math became a passion. He decided to become an adjunct professor at Tidewater Community College until he retired in 2012.
On December 27, 2020 he began the cancer journey that ultimately took his life. During the remainder of his life, his wife, all of his children, grandchildren and sisters devoted their time and talents to taking care of him. He knew he was loved and treasured in equal measure to the love he shared with us.
Cleveland Forrest Martin is survived by his loving wife, Ernestine Martin, his three daughters Cheryl Martin of Virginia Beach, Va., Rev. Clevette Ingram (Clarence) of Atlanta, Ga., Felicia Martin Sharpe (Edward) of Perkasie, Pa. and one son Forrest Wilder (Elvia) of Austin, Tx. His two sisters Joan Harper (Cliff) and Dr. Carolyn Shaw (William). 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers or plants, Mr. Martin asked that donations be made to Crestwood High School Alumni Association, Inc. Please send donations made out to the association to the family residence 4720 Hook Lane, Virginia Beach, VA 23455 and the family will present the donations in his name.