GPHA Mourns the Passing of Board Member Peggy Martin

The GPHA leadership is sad to announce that Peggy Martin, GPHA Board member and GPHA Board of Health Section Chair, passed away unexpectedly in July. The following remembrance was provided by Peggy’s family.

The inimitable Margaret “Peggy” MacMahon Martin (Never call her Margaret!) of Allatoona Lakeside, Acworth, Georgia died unexpectedly at her home on Thursday, July 7th, 2022.

Peggy was preceded in death by her parents Jane Louise Sollenberger MacMahon and James Duncan MacMahon, and brother James Thomas MacMahon.

She is survived by her husband of 51 years William “Bill” T. Martin, Stepsons Charles “Charlie” Lewis Martin (Ronni), Kenneth William Martin, Michael Stephen Martin and Daughter Laura Duncan Haisten (Michael). Along with her Grandchildren, Corey Braden Martin, Tabor Alexander Martin, Christopher Allen Martin, Mary Kathryn Martin, Emery Duncan Haisten and Forrest Carl Haisten. She was also blessed with one Great-granddaughter Aubrey Joy Martin. Sisters Jean “Snookie” Duncan Murray, Frances “Sassy” Fearrin.

Born August 9th, 1945, in Hamilton, OH. She spent her early years in Virginia on the North River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. There, her life-long love of the water and for sailing was forged. Peggy graduated from Taft High School in Hamilton, OH and obtained her BSN from the University of Cincinnati, College of Nursing and Health. Peggy was an accomplished synchronized swimmer throughout high school and college and even moonlighted as a mermaid at a Cincinnati lounge while in school (her grandchildren still believe she was a real mermaid).

In 1971 Peggy married the love of her life, William T. “Bill” Martin and instantly became the proud mother of 3 sons, Charlie, Kenneth, and Michael. She and Bill later welcomed their beloved daughter Laura. Peggy took to motherhood with the same conviction and tenacity as she did all life endeavors. She forged the kind of relationship with Laura most mothers wouldn’t dare to dream possible. She was her confidante, her mentor, her whipping post, and above all, her example. They spoke nearly every day.

Peggy was not known for doing anything half-way; in career, in hobby, in retirement, in conversation, or in life Peggy was the cream that rose to the top.

Peggy rose to the position of Director of Infection Control at Emory University Hospital after building the Infection Control Department from the ground up, excelling in that role for 35 years all while moonlighting as an Infection Control Consultant for hospitals across the country and somehow finding the time for adopting, immersing in, and mastering innumerable hobbies.

Peggy rose to master of many trades to include skiing, scuba diving, sewing, blacksmithing, cast-iron cooking, sailing, RV’ing, and collection of fine things. Her true passion though, was music. Peggy was a skilled musician who never met a stringed instrument she couldn’t best. Peggy long suffered from an incurable affliction of “IAS” or Instrument Acquisition Syndrome, diving headfirst into the passionate study of method and technique for everything from violin to Chinese Erhu. Peggy loved traditional Appalachian folk music and was a member of the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association (NGFDA) where she served in many roles including Membership Director, Festival Director, Annual Event Director, and President. She played in multiple duos and trios, releasing 4 albums of various collaborations.

In retirement, Peggy rose to “renaissance woman” status through her affiliations and action. She served as a member of the Friends of Red Top Mountain State Park where she was active in all events and coordinated the park’s Summer Bluegrass Series. She was a co-founder and served as president of the Allatoona Community Association. She served as Chair of the education committee for Bartow Against Meth, as a board member of Keep Bartow Beautiful, the Bartow Collaborative, and Bartow Board of Health. Peggy was recognized as the Keep Georgia Beautiful Woman of the Year in 2013.

In conversation, Peggy’s auditory prowess was second to none. She possessed a masterful proficiency in “the art of the tangent”. Many unsuspecting waiters, telemarketers, delivery drivers, family members or random passers-by found themselves unwittingly revealing life stories, hopes, dreams and deepest fears when in conversational entanglement with Peggy. Her ability to paint a verbal picture of story, backstory, and backstory’s backstory was expert-level. A true aficionado of conversation, she would interlace those life stories obtained from her unsuspecting encountees into her conveyances of life events with such detail as to leave the receiver of such conveyance to ponder “now what were we talking about again?”.

Peggy was particularly skilled at making life-long friends and bringing the masses together. She possessed a natural magnetism that attracted everyone. If you found yourself in a long-term friendship with Peggy, you knew that you had been christened as “an interesting person of merit”.

Peggy understood that the real measure of a life well lived is weighed by the impact made on the people and the world you leave behind. By these impacts the life of Peggy Martin has been measured and found to be a life well Lived.