Cover photo for Sabra Owen Martin's Obituary
Sabra Owen Martin Profile Photo
1931 Sabra 2016

Sabra Owen Martin

March 29, 1931 — October 30, 2016

Sabra Owen Martin was born on March 29, 1931 in Oneonta, AL to William Ernest Owen, Sr. and Maxie Owen. She grew up here surrounded by the beautiful mountains of northeast Alabama. Her family later moved to Clanton, AL where she graduated from Chilton County High School. After graduation, she married the love of her life, Thomas E. Martin. She is predeceased by her parents, her younger brother, Lt. Col. William Ernest Owen, Jr. and her husband, Tom Martin. Sabra filled the space “between the dash” doing many things for her community. Most people remember her as being employed by Centel Telephone Company in DeFuniak Springs, where she was a customer service representative. She, later, returned to college at Okaloosa-Walton Junior College, majoring in computer-aided drafting and was promoted to draftsperson with the telephone company. Sabra was a good politician and advocate for children’s education and was the first woman in Walton County to be elected to public office. Voters selected her to four terms (16 years) of office with the Walton County School Board. She enjoyed working for the students of Walton County where she was best known for bringing a Specific Learning Disabilities program to our district. She was instrumental in the building of a new Freeport Elementary School, Maude Sanders Elementary School, Butler Elementary School and expansions at Paxton School, West DeFuniak Elementary School and Bay Elementary School. While on the school board, Sabra served on many state education committees and became certified as a board member. She believed in every child receiving a good education and start in life! She was past Chairperson of the Walton County Democratic Executive Committee for three terms and was elected to State Committeewoman. Sabra was a member of the First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs, FL.

She is survived by two sisters, Bette Williams and Patricia McFall, three daughters, Susan Hudson (Myron) of Westville, Cynthia Jeselnik (David) of DeFuniak Springs and Toma Collinsworth (Keith) of Tallahassee. Also, surviving are seven grandchildren, Lindsey Smith (Eric) of Slocomb, AL, Kyle Hudson (Candice) of Westville, Tiffany McKinney (Jonathan) of Westville, Matthew Jeselnik of Pittsburgh, PA, Briana Suggs (Joey) of Chipley, Brent Collinsworth of Iowa City, IA, and Troy Linder of Gainsville. Sabra was blessed by eight wonderful great-grandchildren. She leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews. She was recognized as the matriarch on the Owen and Martin sides of the family. She was loved by so many friends, including Jesse Cleckley and Hoover Armstrong of Clanton, AL and her Thursday afternoon card group, Theresa , Mimi , Mary and Maureen and the late Vera. Those ladies could make for some rowdy, five-hour games of Canasta, Tripoli and Rook.

The family would like to thank her local physicians, her primary care physician, Dr. Stephen Zimmerman, staff at Healthmark Regional Medical Center, Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Sacred Heart Emerald Coast Hospital and Covenant Inpatient Hospice at Bay Medical Center for the excellent care she was given!

Floral arrangements are being accepted. Memorials in her memory can be made to the First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs, Covenant Hospice of NW Florida or The American Cancer Society. A time of visitation will be held Friday, November 4, 2016 from 10:00 A.M. until 11:00A.M. with the service beginning at 11:00 A.M in First United Methodist Church, 88 Circle Drive with Reverend Bobby Ellisor and Dr. Larry Teasley officiating. Burial will follow in the Martin Family Plot Magnolia Cemetery.
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