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Bonnie Ruth Clanton Martin

1946 - 2023


Bonnie Ruth Clanton Martin, 77, died on November 10, 2023, leaving us a legacy of hard work, generosity, faith, and love.

Ms. Martin was born to Jewell and Edward Clanton on May 1, 1946, the third of three daughters. She was married to Danny Ray Martin, who survives her, for fifty-five years and was the mother of five children who call her blessed—Danny Ray Martin, II (Nancy Denning-Martin), Andrea Martin, Jonathan Martin, Jessica Martin, and Benjamin Martin (Heather). She was Grandmother to fourteen grandchildren by birth and marriage and four great-grandchildren—Audrea and James Washburn (J. Edgar), Alicyn and Jake Elliott (Clanton & Jamison), Drake Damesworth (Clara), Emma Martin, Maddox Martin, Jeremy Martin, Danielle Martin, Sophia Martin, Ava, Liam, Collins, and Amelia Martin. Bonnie loved her sisters and their families. Her sister and brother-in-law, Iona and Porter Dunlap, preceded her in death. She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law Carolyn and Douglas Maddox.

Raised in a house with no indoor plumbing and newspapers insulating the walls, Bonnie and her sisters picked cotton in the fields of West Tennessee. She cheered and played drums in the band in high school, and then she married the love of her life, Danny, embarking on a fifty-five-year love affair, building a home on the family farm, raising her own family, and riding a motorcycle across the United States and Canada. She and Danny recruited friends and formed The Danny Martin Band, playing all across West Tennessee. Bonnie also became the ultimate band mom for the McKenzie High School Marching Band, volunteering with concessions, uniforms, instruments, and travel for over 15 years.

Bonnie cut and styled hair, built go-carts, and managed the office for Farm Bureau over a life of work, but her passion was her family, raising children and grandchildren in faith and in love of family. She baked countless biscuits and loaves of bread, cooked countless meals of every variety, sewed clothes and costumes, cheered band competitions and ballgames, read Bible stories and played shows, laughed with friends and “tolerated” the dogs she loved. She cared for people in their hour of need and shared what she had in times lean and plentiful. Hers was a life well lived and one that changed the world for a family tree with deep roots and ever-growing branches.

Most importantly, Bonnie Martin was a Christian, a woman of great and sustaining faith, a witness to the grace and glory of God, a woman who lived her life in a way that reflected her mercy and salvation. A lifelong member of the McKenzie Church of Christ, Ms. Martin worshipped with brothers and sisters she loved.  

In lieu of flowers, Bonnie requested that donations be made to your favorite high school or college bands or music programs.

Funeral service are 2 p.m., November 11, 2023 at the McKenzie church of Christ with John Forgy officiating. Burial will follow in the Mt. Olivet Cemetery with Terry Joe Kee officiating. Visitation will be held from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. with the service immediately following.