BIrds 02

Phoebe Jane Pierce Martin

February 8, 1942 ~ March 31, 2022 (age 80)


Phoebe Jane Pierce Martin, 80, of Clarkesville, Georgia, went peacefully to be with our Heavenly Father on March 31, 2022. Born in Westerly, Rhode Island, Phoebe was the daughter of the late Raymond and Eleanor Pierce. When Phoebe was born, her 22-year-old sister and family lived in an apartment above her home, creating a beautiful sisterly bond that lasted until "Dori" passed away in 2015 at 97. 

Phoebe spent her childhood growing up in Coral Gables, Miami, Florida, graduating from Coral Gables High School in 1960. Although Phoebe first met her beloved "Skeeter" as a child attending the Riveria Presbyterian Church in South Miami, their official love story began when she was 14. In a rush to become his bride, Phoebe graduated in just three years with a Bachelor of Arts and History from Queens College, and married John Marshall Martin, Jr. in the summer of 1963. 

Having taught elementary school while John completed his Master's Degree, Phoebe was able to stay home with their adopted children, John and Suzanne, for eight years. After twelve years with General Electric and many moves around the country, Phoebe and John decided to settle down in one place. When considering where to establish roots, they remembered the little town of Clarkesville they had fallen in love with when attending a family friend's wedding at the First Presbyterian Church in 1958. This same Church she first visited as a 16-year-old would become her "church on the hill" for over 46 years.  

In 1976, Phoebe and John arrived in Clarkesville, and Phoebe changed careers and entered the banking world with Habersham Bank. She organized their first Training Department, became their first female loan officer, and was named Vice President of their central office. Five years later, Phoebe became Assistant Vice President of Business and Staff Development at Community Bank & Trust, and in 1983 accepted an opportunity to join 1st Franklin Financial as their Investment Center and Marketing Director. Phoebe adored her 1st Franklin Financial family and would spend the last 22 years of her career helping expand the company in other states and eventually serving as their Executive Vice President of Human Resources. Professionally, she served as a member and President of the American Financial Services Associations Human Resource Committee. 

Phoebe's servant heart led her to be involved in many service organizations. Serving as a long-time member and the first female President of the Rotary Club of Toccoa, where she was a Paul Harris Fellow and sustaining Will Watt Fellow, Phoebe also served as a Trustee of the Georgia Rotary Student Program (GRSP). GRSP excited Phoebe as it provided her and John the opportunity to host several international students over the years, solidifying her love for other nations and their people. She was a member and President of the Stephens County Chamber of Commerce Board, President of the Stephens County United Way Board, member and President of the Stephens County Literacy Foundation, member and President of the Foothills Counseling Board, member of the Juvenile Judges Citizen Review Panel, and member of the Department of Family and Children Services and Prevent Child Abuse Habersham Boards. In 1994, Queens College initiated an Outstanding Alumni Award and honored Phoebe as the first recipient, acknowledging her outstanding alumni service and contributions. After retiring in 2005, Phoebe spent most days volunteering at Circle of Hope, continuing her service with the agencies addressing child abuse and prevention, caring for her grandchildren, enjoying time with her Girls’ Night Out friends, and being a globe-trotter. She often shared that her best volunteer activity was being Nana to Ella Jane, Marshall, Jacob, Joshua, and Abigail Grace.

Phoebe loved her First Presbyterian Church family and actively served as a Sunday School teacher, Treasurer, Elder, and choir member. She was also a Moderator with the Northeast Georgia Presbytery. In 2010, the Church honored Phoebe with their Lifetime Achievement Award. Although honored for the recognition, in her written acknowledgment, she wanted her church family to know that she considered her most wonderful "Lifetime Achievement Awards" to be her two children, John and Suzanne. Anyone who knew Phoebe knew how proud she was that her children had chosen to serve others with their lives.  

Phoebe could be described as a pioneer businesswoman who led by example, mentored many, and held many offices in civic and professional organizations. But the essential part of her life was her family. She adored her husband, children, five grandchildren, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, and extended family members. Phoebe devoted her life to being Skeeter's wife. Over the course of their 58-year marriage, Phoebe and John traveled the world, visiting over 31 countries. While the trips were for their enjoyment, Phoebe always had the attitude that she was a guest in the country and, more specifically, an ambassador for the United States. Phoebe was known to befriend everyone she encountered in their travels. She would always issue an invitation to their host to visit them in the US, and, on occasion, they did.

In 2008, Phoebe was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. Two years later, she made the brave decision to share the news of her battle with others to be a beacon of hope and help those afflicted with the same disease. Throughout her 14-year battle, she believed that God gives us the grace to deal with tough situations, and with HIS help, HE sees us through. 

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister and brother-in-law, Doris and Carlton Crabtree. Survivors include her husband, John Marshall Martin Jr., son and daughter-in-law John and Heather Martin, daughter and son-in-law Suzanne and Jason Dow, grandchildren Ella Jane Dow, Jacob Martin, Marshall Dow, Joshua Martin, and Abigail Grace Martin. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Circle of Hope, P.O. Box 833, Cornelia, GA 30531; Filter of Hope 1400 Jack Warner Parkway NE, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404; First Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville, P.O. Box 354, Clarkesville, GA 30523; or the Alzheimer's Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM, Monday, April 4, 2022 at First Presbyterian Church of Clarkesville.  Visitation will be held at Hillside Memorial Chapel on Sunday, April 3, 2022 from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM.

An online guest book is available at

Arrangements by Hillside Memorial Chapel & Gardens, Clarkesville. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Phoebe Jane Pierce, please visit our floral store.


April 3, 2022

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Hillside Memorial Chapel
5495 Highway 197 South
Clarkesville, GA 30523

Funeral Service
April 4, 2022

2:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church (Clarkesville)

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