Joan Gatlin
Joan Martin

I attended Heidelberg High School for four years. Those were some of the happiest days of my life. I have remained friends and stayed in contact with many of my classmates.

My younger sister, Barbara Gatlin married our Senior Class President Buddy Sauls and he has been a wonderful member of our family since 1966. I married Woody Martin (class of 60). We were married for 26 years. Woody died June 29, 1986. We were blessed with three sons. Our oldest son Woodrow W. (Scooter) Martin, III was killed in an accident when he was three.

My second son Mike Martin married Cecile Prejean and they live in Baton Rouge, LA, with their 10 year old twin daughters, Sarah Elizabeth and Emily Claire. Mike is a bank examiner for the FDIC.

My youngest son Brian Martin married Dina Parks of Mobile, AL. They live across from me on Highway 11 North, Laurel, MS. Brian bought and remodeled the house Coach Glenn Wells lived in for 25 years. Brian works for Southern Farm Bureau as an underwriter in southern Mississippi. He has three sons: Landon 13, Brock 10, and Rylan 6. He stays busy taking boys to baseball, football, and basketball practice and games. Being a proud NANA I try to go to all the games.

I went to college after my children were older and graduated from Jones Junior College with an Associates Arts degree in Business Administration. I then earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from William Carey College, now William Carey University.

I have had several different jobs over the years. I was a bookkeeper in my home for Lee Donald Wood Yards, Inc., and B & B Wood yards. For 13 years I worked as Office Administrator for the Laurel-Jones County Council on Aging, Inc. I retired in 2003.

Working with Senior Citizens taught me a lot about life. It was very rewarding. They have so much to give back to their communities with life's lessons they have learned. They use their knowledge and wisdom to try and make a difference in the lives of people not as fortunate as they have been.

I have tried to do my part in my community. I attend Highland Baptist Church and am active in Sunday School and other activities.

I was an active member of Erata Homemakers Club for 20 years until it was dissolved, a member of Seroptimist International, Inc., Golden Vision, Inc. (club for professional women in business.

Other acttivites of my very busy life have been with the YWCO, Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel-Jones County Women's Bowling League, the Southern Heritage Garden Club of Laurel, and the Jones County Republican Women ( served as secretary and president).

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