Bobby Martin, a Tippah County businessman and philanthropist, died Wednesday, November 4, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He was 87 years old.
Martin graduated from Mississippi State University (MSU) in 1956. By the time he finished college, he already had successful experience as a motivator and manager of people. He had served as student manager of the MSU cafeteria while earning his degree.
Martin was best known for his long association with Peoples Bank of Ripley. He drove the bank’s development into one of the strongest in the state. He had been the Peoples Bank president and was its board chairman at the time of his death.
Beyond his role in building Peoples Bank, Bobby Martin was an engine for the development of Tippah County and North Mississippi, indeed of the entire region, for over sixty years.
His was a dynamic presence. He maintained his keen mental acuity and physical vigor, playing racquet ball competitively against players one-fourth his age. One long-time friend referred to him Wednesday evening as a “force of nature.”
Martin supported the development of manufacturing, education, health care, aviation, communications – in short many things that improved the quality of life for thousands of people in North Mississippi and beyond.
Some years ago, he served a term as president of the CREATE Foundation. He was an active alumnus of MSU, which awarded him an honorary doctorate. He was also a strong supporter of Blue Mountain College.
–JWSBobby Martin, Ripley MS