Thomas A. Martin

19481231 –


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Thomas Allen Martin passed away Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Family and friends will gather to celebrate his life of 69 years on Monday, April 2, 2018, at 1 PM. at Cumberland Presbyterian Church. 

Thomas Allen was born on December 31, 1948 to Elmer and Mary Van Valkenburg Martin in Rome, New York. On November 24, 1969, Thomas married the love of his life, Karen at First Presbyterian Church in Lubbock, Texas. Tom earned his Master of Public Administration degree at Texas Tech University in 1977.  He was named an MPA Distinguished Alumnus in 2014.

Tom worked as a news reporter for KLBK in 1968 until 1970, when he began his career as Public Information Officer for the City of Lubbock. He served with the Lubbock Police Department from 1974 until he was appointed Chief of Police in San Marcos in 1990. Tom then became Chief of Police in Grapevine in 1992, where he served until 1998. Following a 28-year career in law enforcement, he taught political science courses at South Plains College and criminal justice courses at Wayland Baptist University. Mr. Martin was elected to serve on the Lubbock City Council for District 5 serving four years with the final two years as Mayor Pro Tem. He was elected on May 10, 2009 and served as the Mayor of Lubbock for two consecutive terms. Following a ten-year career in municipal government, he began teaching government courses at Texas Tech University.

Tom was actively involved in the community volunteering and serving with numerous community organizations. He served on the boards of the Salvation Army and Scottish Rite Learning Center. Tom was a 33rd Degree Mason and a member of Lubbock Lion’s Club. He was a member of Cumberland Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder and chair of the finance committee.

Survivors include his wife, Karen Martin; brother, Patrick Martin and wife, Rene; Donna Martin, Linda Martin and husband, Gene; and Sally Johnson and husband, Rodney; and Max, his Glen of Imaal Terrier.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Mary Martin.



In lieu of flowers, the Martin family suggests the following charities Tom actively supported: Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas, 1101 70th Street Lubbock, TX 79412; Salvation Army, 1111 16th St, Lubbock, TX 79401,; Texas Boys Ranch,, and the Boys and Girls Clubs, P.O. Box 94163, Lubbock, Texas 79493;


16 thoughts on “Thomas A. Martin”

  1. Jo Lynda Hargrave

    Precious memories will never fade. My deepest sympathy to my dear friend Karen, and all of the Martin family.

  2. Chief Martin was a great leader who will be deeply missed by all those touched by his wisdom, guidance and professionalism. Although he was in San Marcos only two years, his impact is lifelong to those who served under his command.

  3. Rick thought so highly of Tom. (as did we all) He was an honorable man and a good friend to us. Our family sends our deepest sympathies to you Karen and to your family. With much love, Kevin and Shannon, Scott and Teri and Muffy Harris

  4. Jacintha Bitela

    My Deepest sympathy the Martin Family I met Tom Martin once and he acted like he knew me and my kids for a while those are the kind of people that leave this world Heaven gained and good guy Tom Martin even invited my kids to go to his house to get candy for Halloween ???? You will be missed
    sincerely Jacintha Bitela (Lubbock Texas)

  5. Ms Karen i am so sorry for your and your family’s loss. Tom was one of the most professional, intelligent, moral police officers that I had the privilege to work with. His integrity was beyond reproach. I know you probably will not remember me but I worked with Tom in the 1970’s in Lubbock, before I left Lubbock in 1980 for the Dallas Police Department. I carried many of his teachings and styles of life with me. One of my fondest memories of You and Tom together was a shift change party we had inside one of the buildings at the fair grounds. Tom, in front of the entire shift, performed a stand up Steve Martin comedy routine that was undeniably TOM!!! He will be greatly missed but his LEGACY will be scattered every where ya’ll lived and worked. TIM L SMITH

  6. Edward and Debbie Cosgrove

    Tom was an outstanding man. He supported a park project and historic redesign district in South Overton when it was not popular to do so. He was the true civic leader who envisioned what was good for the city of Lubbock, and fought for it. Thanks Tom and family for an outstanding legacy of leadership and civic duty. Our condolences to his family.

  7. Tom was one of the first people I met upon returning to Lubbock, and I am proud to have called him friend. His life of service is admirable. Thoughts and prayers to Karen and family. We lost a good man far too young.

    Something Beautiful Remains – Unknown

    The tide recedes but leaves behind
    bright seashells on the sand.

    The sun goes down, but gentle warmth
    still lingers on the land.

    The music stops, and yet it echoes
    on in sweet refrains…..

    For every joy that passes,
    something beautiful remains.

  8. Condolences to your family. I was privileged to be able to call Tom my friend. I served with him on the Ports to Plains board. He was a great leader and always had an amazing grasp of the facts and details of an issue. He will be missed!

  9. Chief Martin came to San Marcos P D when we most needed him. His leadership and professionalism enabled the department to refocus on it’s mission, moving us into the future with a clear vision of where we needed to go. My condolences to Karen and the Martin family.

  10. Bill and Coochie Ackors

    Our sincere condolences to Karen and Toms family. We hold the fondest memories of him and cherish the many years of friendship with him and his lovely wife Karen. Remembering his life as a contributor of betterment to Lubbock as a Public Servant. Thank you Tom. We have lost a great man far too soon. We are here for you Karen always.

  11. Mark David Reynolds

    Mr. Martin was a great man, an example for all men. I’m proud to have gotten to spend some time with him last year. He will be missed. My condolences to the family.

  12. Karen – our prayers are with you and Tom’s family. He was my Training Officer at Lubbock PD and was one of my heroes. Everything I have accomplished was due to his leadership and teaching. He was a great person and Christian. He will be greatly missed by all.

  13. Dear Family,
    I wish to express my deepest sympathy in the loss of your loved one. The pain, the grief, and the feelings of helplessness can seem unbearable. The Bible’s promises give comfort and hope. “And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”- Revelation 21:4. I hope this will give your family comfort and hope. If you would like to know more about what the Bible promises, please visit: free of charge or obligation.
    With Deepest Sympathy, Kristy

  14. Pat Maloch Treadway

    Tom was many things to me, friend, co-worker, boss. He will truly be missed by so many, especially by me! I know one day I will see him again and maybe he will recognize me and call me Patricia Jan again! I love Tom Martin, always will!

  15. Sally, Linda, Donna, P.J. and Karen;
    My thoughts and prayers are with you on the loss of your brother and husband. I was serving on the city council where I live when Tom was serving as Mayor. I had many useful phone calls with Tom regarding municipal government. Beyond that, I had so many great childhood memories created at your home on Flint Ave. The Martin family was a very important part of my childhood. My first memory of Tom was hearing him on the TV letting us know that “The City of Lubbock is under a Tornado Warning.” There was something very comforting about the fact that I knew the man behind that voice. I knew he was looking out for me. I am sorry that I was unable to attend the funeral services, but I had to attend another funeral on my wife’s side of the family Monday. I look forward to speaking to you again in the future.

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