Leroy Martin

June 6, 1926 to Feb. 12, 2009

LeRoy B. Martin, Jr. passed away on February 12, 2009, surrounded by his family. LeRoy (Sonny) brightened the lives of everyone around him with his ready and wonderful smile. He was born in Elkin, NC, on June 6, 1926 to LeRoy and Elva Martin. He moved to Raleigh in elementary school where he graduated from Broughton High School.

He was recruited to West Point in 1944 and played football on the 1945 National championship team. LeRoy finshed his undergraduate education at Wake Forest University where he was president of his fraternity, Kappa Alpha. He earned a Masters in Mathematics at North Carolina State University and a PhD in Applied Mathematics at Harvard University.

At Harvard he worked under Howard Aiken on the Mark 1 computer. LeRoy was among the first to take computing beyond simple calculations to solve real world problems. His pioneering efforts with computing still resound at the University today.

He began his career with IBM in Boston, where he met and married Charlotte Meyer. In 1961 they moved back to Raleigh when LeRoy accepted a faculty teaching position at North Carolina State University in the Department of Mathematics.

In his 47 years at N.C. State, LeRoy achieved professor in both the departments of Computer Science and Mathematics, became Director of the Computing Center, was liason for NCSU at the Triangle University Computer Center (TUCC) at the Research Triangle Park, and was Assistant Provost for University Computing at NCSU. He retired in 1996 as Professor Emeritus, but continued to teach for the love of it until 2006.

This November he received the ultimate tribute for a teacher and NC State alumnus when he was honored with an Endowed Professorship by a former student and received a Distinguished Alumnus award from the NCSU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

In addition to his academic endeavors, LeRoy always found time for his family, sports (tennis and golf), travel, and many close friends. He spent summers in Northfield, Massachusetts with a wonderful community. He continually fostered a love for learning, and was so proud that all three sons had graduate degrees and are Eagle Scouts.

He was extensively involved in the community and very generous with his time and effort. His pursuits included the Raleigh YMCA, Kiwanis (prior President and Kiwanian of the Year), the Carolina Country Club, the NCSU Faculty Club, Parents for the Advancement of Gifted Education, the North Carolina Master Chorale, the Peace College Board of Trustees, the Raleigh Old Boy’s Club, the Stag Club, the Sphinx Club, the North Carolina Symphony, and Church organizations with Pullen Memorial Baptist and White Memorial Presbyterian Church.

He is survived by Charlotte, his devoted wife of 47 years; his eldest son LeRoy B. Martin, III and his wife Heather Brine Martin of Marblehead, Massachusetts; middle son Eric M. Martin, his wife Donna Allen Martin and children William, Harrison, and Sydney of Greenville, North Carolina; and youngest son Christopher H. Martin, his wife Margaret Robinison Martin and children Carlton, Grace Elva, and Mary Meyer of Atlanta, Georgia. Other family members include his sister Vicky Langley and husband Gene, and his sister-in-law Sue Martin. LeRoy’s brother Sidney passed away in 1998. Additional surviving family include Sammy Martin, Donna Pilkington, Debbie Martin and Diane Martin; and Kathryn Anderson, Susanna Robinson, and Marty Langley. He and his smile will be dearly missed by all.

Arrangements by Bryan-Lee Funeral Home, 831 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, NC, 27604. Visitation on Sunday, February 15, from 5 – 7:00 pm at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1704 Oberlin Road, Raleigh in the Jane Bell Gathering Room. Funeral services are Monday, February 16, 11:00 am at White Memorial Presbyterian Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Hospice of Wake County, www.buildhospice.org.