Walter Norman Martin, born in Andalusia, Alabama on March 6, 1935, graduated from Andalusia High School in 1954. He graduated from Troy State University, in 1957, where he received a BS in Mathematics. After graduation, he worked with his dad at Home Repairs Inc.
Walter met his wife, Nina Yvonne Turner, while doing remodeling work at the Southeastern Telephone Company. Walter and Nina were married on October 12, 1958, in Fort Walton Beach, FL.
Shortly after their marriage, Walter was drafted in the US Army, where he served for 13 years, with two years active duty, 11 years, active Reserves.
After serving in Germany, and being Honorably Discharged from the US Army, Walter worked as a mathematician at Eglin AFB, via contract. In 1962, Walter accepted a civil service position as an Operation Research Analyst. His work entailed analyzing unguided weapon systems (released from Air Force aircraft). He retired from Civil Service in 1991, as Chief of the Ballistic Support Section, Weapon Delivery and Analysis Branch of the Office for Aircraft Compatibility, 46 Test Wing at Eglin.
Walter thought his specialized skills could continue to benefit in the civilian arena, and he accepted a job with Orlando Technology Inc. (OTI), as a senior ballistician until 1996. In 1997, he accepted a job with Avionic Test and Analysis Corporation (ATAC), as a senior ballistician and worked there until December 2012. Walter finally decided to retire for good, having spent the better part of 49 years devoted to analyzing unguided weapon systems released from Air Force bombers and fighter aircraft.
Walter was predeceased by his wife of 60 years. He is survived by his two sons, Randy (Annette) and Tim (JJ) and Sister-in-law Teresa (Jim). Walter also was very fortunate to have enjoyed the love of his 4 grandchildren, Adam (Brandi), Matthew (Maighan), Melissa (Casey), and Laurie (Richard), and his 12 great grandchildren, Axton, Lilly, Noah, Grace, Caleb, Carter, Addison, Keegan, Shaelie, Linkyn, Jonah, and Israel.
Walter and Nina enjoyed retirement by going RVing, fishing, hunting, and spending time with their family. Walter’s number one hobby had to be his home woodworking shop, where he would make many keepsake treasures for his family.
By the way, the road in Ft Walton Beach was NOT named after me… or was it?
IF TOMORROW STARTS WITHOUT ME
If tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all that we shared,
And all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and hug you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things
I might miss some tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,
He said, "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you.
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day is the same way,
There's no longing for the past.
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right there, in your heart.