Martin L. Whitfield (1931 – 2017 - )

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Martin L Whitfield, 86, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida passed away peacefully at home on October 11, 2017 after a brief illness. Martin was born April 24, 1931 to Luther M & Lonie (Ellis) Whitfield in Whitfield Community, Santa Rosa County, Florida. Raised on a farm with 3 brothers, Rufus, Maurie(d) and Gerald, hard work and love of family became two important themes of Martin's life. He attended Jay High School where he lettered in basketball and football. After graduation, he joined the U S Army and was assigned to Japan where he was later transferred to Korea at the beginning of the Korean War. After returning from Korea, he married his high school sweetheart, Edna Ruth Floyd, in 1951. Upon discharge from the Army in 1952, Martin and Ruth settled in Mobile, Alabama and began civil service careers at Brookley Air Force Base. Martin and family moved to Fort Walton Beach in 1966 where he worked at Eglin Air Force Base, retiring in 1987. Martin was an active member of First Baptist Church, Fort Walton Beach. Martin is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ruth Whitfield; their two children Jureta Whitfield Hyder (Jeff) of Fort Walton Beach and Richard (Diana) Whitfield of Collierville, Tennessee. Granddaughters Sabrina Whitfield Smith (Brian, great-grandson Tucker) of Collierville, Tennessee, Sandy Hyder Frederick (Matt, great-grandsons Hyder and Jackson) of Abingdon, Virginia, Rhianna Whitfield Berry (Jeremy, great-granddaughters Gavin and Makalyn) of Collierville, Tennessee, and Sara Hyder McGough (Daniel, great-granddaughters Sydney and Lucy) of Mobile, Alabama. Always a smile on his face, Martin was a devoted husband and father whose love, devotion and unquestioned support of his family will be deeply and lovingly missed. A funeral service was held Monday, October 16, 2017 at Emerald Coast Funeral Home, officiated by Dr. Wes Yates. The family received visitors one hour prior to the service. Burial followed at Beal Memorial Cemetery, Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Floral arrangements will be accepted or donate to the Lupus Foundation of America, Expressions of love and sympathy may be placed and viewed online at
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Emerald Coast Funeral Home
161 Racetrack Rd NW
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 864-3361
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Published in The Crestview News Bulletin on Oct. 17, 2017
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Funeral Home Details
Fort Walton Beach, FL   (850) 864-3361
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