October 21, 1985 – June 04, 2020
Far too few years ago, in not such a far away land, a darlin’ chubby little boy was born with dark hair, and eyes sweetly mixed with Van Gogh greens, browns, blues. Jed was born in Snyder, Texas, to a family who loved him ever so much.
It was a happy life in a town where everyone knew everyone else, a life filled with church activities, community theatre, and sports, from soccer to little dribblers to little league baseball. Jed was competitive. Michael Jordon was his favorite basketball hero, and Jed claimed the number 23. But in baseball, he eagerly followed his big brother’s favorite number 6. Jed has so many levels of interests: an outdoorsman, an academic, a real music man who grew up listening to classic rock, but his affinity for genres was wide-range and ever growing. And dogs, always, have been part of home for all Jed’s life. Just before Jed’s 7th grade year, the family moved to Pampa, Texas in 1999. It was a hard move because Jed so loved Snyder and was involved in so many ways. But Jed and his brother Wes adjusted eventually, particularly because the community of Pampa so fully embraced them. Jed continued to excel in baseball and basketball, being named All-State in both sports. He was one of the top five of his class and graduated from Pampa High School with the class of 2004.
Jed’s personality has been described as intense, in that he wanted to do everything with all the strength he could muster, both mentally and physically. He was always all in. Yet his personality was also calm and unpretentious. He wasn’t so into whatever was all the rage. But he made good friends, real friends, true friends. Jed was genuine and spoke truth to all of us. He expected nothing less and often chided his family with the reminder that there would be “no sugar-coating.”
Jed graduated from Texas A&M University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. By that time, Jed had become an avid golfer. He entered optometry school and completed his Doctorate of Optometry from University of Houston in 2012. It was in optometry school that he called home and told his parents of a girl he’d met, who was also in optometry school. Jed had fallen in love, and his family soon fell in love with her, too. Lindsey Denison and Jed Martin married in 2013, making their home in San Antonio, Texas, working side by side in the field of optometry and building an exceptional and happy life for themselves and for their children to come. Their dream came true of having a family, a boy and a girl, and giving them the same initials OJM. October James Martin was born in 2016, and his little sister, Olivia Jewel Martin, was born in 2018. Not many people do life as beautifully as Jed and Lindsey. They were each other.
Jed and Lindsey hosted the grand opening of their Vision Source Optometry office in Bulverde, Texas, in May of 2019. It was an incredible accomplishment. They’d come to love the community. It was that same month that Jed’s parents left Abilene, thrilled to be closer to Jed and Lindsey and, well, especially to their extraordinary grandkids.It seemed an almost perfect world.
But the life they had all hoped for was not to be. In July 2019, Jed received a devastating diagnosis of cancer. Later, metastasis of the liver added further complications.Jed fought bravely and fiercely every single day against the illness. He took upon himself excruciatingly painful treatments and played down the pain, never wanting to worry his loved ones. He wanted so badly to stay here in this life, to continue in the role of daddy to his two children and to continue to be husband to the love of his life. And Jed was just Jed, joking with the nurses and the doctors, making them laugh and treating them as he did anyone he met, with his full attentiveness and kindness. Lindsey never ever left his side. She arranged to be with him at MD Anderson, acquiring the best care and seeing him through excruciatingly painful treatments of all sorts. Lindsey was a rock to Jed and to all those who love him.
We all thought healing would come. Multitudes of people prayed with far bigger than mustard seed faith. But the mountain would not move. Each day, Jed’s health worsened.What was once such a strong body transformed into a body imprisoned by pain and disease.
But in the end, mid-morning on June 4, 2020, surrounded by those who loved him most, his face finally and beautifully eased, even glowed with the most peaceful pleasantness, Another horizon welcomed him in the distance and soul ascended from body into life eternal. We will never understand, at least in this life, why Jed had to travel to the other side at the early age of 34, whilst there was still so much of life left to live.Oh how his family will miss him. As C.S. Lewis described the death of his loved one, Jed’s absence is “like the sky, spread over everything.”
Jed is survived by his wife Lindsey, and leaves a legacy in their two beautiful children, Tober, who will be 4-years-old in August, and Livi Jewel, who will be 2-years-old in July. Seeing Tober and Livi will be like seeing their father in so many ways.Jed is survived by parents Ricky Martin and Jana Wesson-Martin, who reside in Lakehills, Texas, and his older brother, Wes Martin and friend Kim Smith, both of San Antonio, Texas.
Jed is survived by his grandparents, Joe and Peggy Martin, of Pampa, Texas. He is survived by his uncle and aunt, Gary and Angie Martin, of Pampa, and their daughter, Jed’s cousin, Payton Baird, of San Antonio.
Jed is survived by his grandparents, James and Janet Wesson, of Snyder, Texas. He is survived by his uncle and aunt, Jay and Deborah Wesson, of Waco, Texas. He is survived by nine cousins, with whom he spent his childhood, three of which are Kalli Wesson (and daughters Autumn and Emilie); JW Wesson; and Tayla Saylor (and husband Hayden and son JD). Jed is survived by his uncle and aunt, Jeff and Holly Wesson, of Midland, Texas. More of those nine cousins include Micah Wesson Mitchell (and husband Brad, children Heidi, Halle, Wyatt); Jacey Wesson Dennard (and husband Dex, children Deacon and Jaye); Craig Wesson (and wife Kallie, children Joleen and Carter Craig); and Cody Wesson.
Jed is survived by two people he called angels: Barbara Sojourner and Ila Ruth Newton, of Snyder, dear to Jed since childhood. Lindsey’s family, too, loved Jed deeply. His passing leaves an everlasting void in a host of the many families who loved him.Oh, how Jed’s many, many friends will miss him. He had a lot of best friends. At Jed and Lindsey’s wedding reception, Jed’s friends commented that one so very unique thing about Jed is that each of his friends claim Jed as a very best friend. Jed took the relationships he had very seriously. In conversations, he met you eye-to-eye with uninterrupted attention. In fact, he had a strong pet peeve about interruptions and was not hesitant to chide anyone who dared answer a cell phone in the midst of lunch or dinner.No doubt Jed lives on eternally in the arms of Jesus. But an out of order death leaves those still here paralyzed with grief. Yet what choice do we have but to live each day more deeply in light and in love. Jed would want nothing less. We look forward to the day we see him again. Jed held a strong belief that something so brilliant and beautiful awaits us all.
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountaintop, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.
– Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Saturday, June 27 / 11:00 a.m.
River City Community Church / Real Life Amphitheater
16765 Lookout Road
Selma, TX 78154
Jed’s family thanks so many who have expressed beautiful condolences. Joshua Jed Memorial Fund has been established for anyone wishing to donate to a school for impoverished children in Kenya, Africa. Donations are accepted by Change a Life Academy/P.O. Box 6091/Abilene, Texas/79608 or may be submitted to Change a Life website, calkenya.org
Dr. Lindsey Martin also sends many thanks to optometrists and friends who contributed to a Dr. Jed Martin GoFundMe, initiated by Jed’s mentor and dear friend, Dr. Mario Gutierrez.