Edward J. Martin, 90, insurance firm manager

February 04, 2004

Edward J. Martin, a retired North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. district manager and bridge enthusiast, died of heart failure Jan. 28 at his Forest Park home. He was 90.

Mr. Martin was born and raised in Washington, N.C., and attended what is now Hampton University.

In 1939, he became acquainted with C.C. Spaulding, who four decades earlier had founded the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. - now the nation's oldest and largest black-managed insurance company.

Mr. Martin was an agent with the company in Birmingham, Ala., and Greensboro, N.C., before coming to Baltimore in the early 1940s. He retired in 1973 as its Baltimore district manager.

He was an avid tenpin bowler and champion bridge player, teaching classes on the card game.

His wife of 60 years, the former Frances Derr, a city public school nursing supervisor, died in 1998. In 2000, he married Frances Hall, a retired Catonsville Junior High School librarian, who survives him.

Mr. Martin was treasurer for 25 years of Metropolitan United Methodist Church, 1121 W. Lanvale St., where a memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday.

Also surviving are two sons, Edward J. Martin Jr. of Los Angeles and Reginald Martin of Tolland, Conn.; five grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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