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PFC Toy Ivan “Curley” Martin

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PFC Toy Ivan “Curley” Martin

  • Birth 15 Aug 1919 Forsyth County, Georgia, USA
  • Death 6 Feb 1994 Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA
  • Burial Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA
  • Memorial ID 12301159

US Army WWII veteran. Husband of Elsie Lorene Rice Martin. Son of Bart and Essie C. Martin of Gwinnett Co, grandson of John B. and Alice Martin and Isaac Cooper Bennett and Rosalee Cook Bennett of Forsyth Co. Father of two daughters and one son, grandfather of five boys, great-grandfather of two boys. Brother to Hubert, Bond D, Madge, and Joyce.

Toy Ivan "Curley" Martin was born in Forsyth Co, GA (near Cumming) in 1919. He was the second son of Bart and Essie Martin. The photo to the right shows Toy at a few months of age. His clothing was furnished by the traveling photographer, as was the custom in those days. He was often lovingly teased by his grandsons about wearing a "dress."

He grew up in Forsyth Co. They were farmers. When he was about 14 they moved to Gwinnett Co, GA. He told the story of driving a mule and wagon all the way to Lawrenceville, with his brother Hubert beside him. They lived first on a place near Simonton Road in Lawrenceville. He and his brothers Hubert and Bond D, and his sister Madge, attended Roberts Academy in Lawrenceville.

He was a soldier in the Army during WWII, joined the Army on his birthday in 1941. He was processed at Fort McPherson, GA, then to Camp Grant in Illinois, where he spent his first Thanksgiving away from home. After that he was on the way to Fort Slocum in New York. It was on the train to Fort Slocum that they got the news that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor. He was at Fort Slocum for about another month while a convoy was being assembled. He then left for the Panama Canal Zone and was was stationed at the PCZ from March 1942 to 1944. He then came back to Fort Riley, KS for 13 more weeks of training. He developed appendicitis and had emergency surgery during this time.

His platoon then went to Fort Benning GA for target training. They left by ship to LeHavre France and he served in France for a while. He remembers sleeping in a mortar-shelled bank building one night, it was full of bullet holes. All through the night they heard missles flying over, not knowing if one was going to hit them. They were very scared. They later went into Germany to a town called Heilbraun (90 miles from Berlin). His group helped set up a P.O.W.(WP) camp there. His Army days were some of the best times in his life, he always said. He got to see the Eiffel Tower while in Paris. When the war was over, he remembers driving to Luxembourg for a truck load of Coca-Cola. He was discharged Oct 12, 1945 and processed out of the service at Fort Gordon. He surprised his parents at his homecoming; his mother had gone to SC to visit her sister-in-law. She came right home when she heard her son was safely home from the war.

After the war Toy lived in Lawrenceville with his parents at their home on Pike Street. He began working at Scottdale Mill in Scottdale and rode the "mill bus" everyday to work. He met and then married Elsie Lorene Rice on Dec 22, 1945. He continued to work at the mill. The first car he ever owned was stolen from the mill parking lot. He often laughingly told the story of how he came out of the door of the mill at midnight, walked toward where his car was parked and there was a bus parked in that space. He told us he bent over and looked UNDER the bus, refusing to believe that his car was really gone. He later went to work for Dekalb County Public Works and retired after working there for nearly 30 years. The family moved to Gwinnett County in 1963. Toy then began working for the Georgia DOT as a superintendent. He retired from the DOT, and they moved to Dacula in 1984. He was able to enjoy 10 years of retirement.

Toy was a good provider for his family. He was a working man and he worked hard every day of his life, never taking time off for vacation or when he was sick. He took pride in doing an excellent job wherever he worked and tried to instill those values in his children.

His favorite hobby after retiring was doing wood work and building furniture and other items in his woodworking shop at their new home in Dacula. He made many things, many of which are still in the family and always will be. He was especially pleased the year he made dozens and dozens of reindeer at Christmas time, some for the family, and each and every one of the rest were purchased by eager customers. He had worked night and day in his shop making sure each one was perfect.

He loved wild animals and had squirrels that would meet him on the porch at breakfast and eat a biscuit from his hand.

My beloved father, Toy Ivan Martin, died on February 6, 1994, age 74 years, 5 months, 22 days, at Gwinnett Medical Center ICU of heart disease, pulmonary problems, and diabetic complications. He was predeceased by his parents, brother Bond D, and his young nieces Ann Singley and Sherry Lynn Martin. He was buried with military honors and a flag presented to his widow. Also a very special graveside service was given by his Masonic brothers from the Sweetwater Lodge who were also his pallbearers. His grandsons were honorary casket bearers.

He was immensely proud of his five grandsons; every one of them loved taking rides with "paw-paw" on his tractor or riding lawn mower. He never knew his great-grandsons but would have doted on them as well.

Arrangements: Tom M Wages Oak Lawn Chapel Funeral Home, Lawrenceville, GA

* Toy's only son, Mike, died August 30, 2010.

Family Members

  • Created by: Silent Spirits
  • Added: 10 Nov 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12301159
  • Silent Spirits
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for PFC Toy Ivan “Curley” Martin (15 Aug 1919–6 Feb 1994), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12301159, citing East Shadowlawn Memorial Gardens and Mausoleum, Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by Silent Spirits (contributor 46811431) .