Former Jackson County Circuit Clerk Joe Martin and his family said goodbye Friday to his oldest son and namesake — 45-year-old Joseph Watts Martin III.
Joseph Martin died Monday after he fell and hit his head in the shower at home in Pascagoula.
In the Circuit Clerk’s Office Friday morning, many employees were dressed in black to attend a noon funeral Mass across the street at Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church.
“We just want to thank everyone for the outpouring of love, support and prayers,” Joe Martin said Friday afternoon. “With God’s help, and the prayers of family and friends, we are going to make it through this. We love him dearly. We don’t understand, but we know God has a plan and he’s in heaven.”
Joe Martin retired at the end of 2015 after 36 years as circuit clerk.
Joseph Martin regularly visited his father in the Circuit Clerk’s Office. Father and son were close. “Little Joe,” as some called him, even resembled his dad.
“I know he loved LSU football and he loved his daddy,” said Deputy Clerk B.J. McCreary, who worked for Joe Martin for 11 years. “He would come by and check in. Always at the end of a phone conversation it was, “‘I love you.’”
Joseph Martin enjoyed boating, any type of recreation on the water and golf, his obituary said.
Retired Deputy Clerk Vivian Marceaux said she recently cut Joseph Martin’s hair. She knew him from her time in the Circuit Clerk’s Office and said he was always very polite. He liked to tease the women in the office when he came by to see his dad.
If she was out and about, “Little Joe” would ask Marceaux, “Why aren’t you at work?” Then he would laugh, she said.
Marceaux said Joseph Martin had worked on tugboats for Colle Towing in Pascagoula. He left for a job in California for a while, she said, but returned to Pascagoula after being injured.
He was on the mend and applying for jobs, he told Marceaux when she cut his hair.
“He was fine,” Marceaux said. “He was in a good mood. He was always pleasant.
“I hugged his neck and who would have thought that would be the last time I would see him?”
In addition to his father and father’s wife, Kay Martin, Joseph Martin is survived by his mother, Marty Ware Lowery, and her husband, David Lowery, and his younger brother, Timothy Lyons Martin.
“God blessed us,” Joe Martin said. “He also blessed us because Joe is not laying there in a coma. He’s not crippled. He’s with God.”