UNION — The Honorable Dora Thomas Martin-Jennings, 78, 4465 Cross Keys Highway, entered eternal rest on Friday, Sept. 28, 2012 in Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
A native of Union, she was the wife of Rev. Charlie Jennings, Jr. of the home and the daughter of the late Benjamin Thomas and Fannie Mae Sims Thomas. She was first married to the late James Robert Martin, I. She was a member of New Horizon United Christian Church where she served as church secretary, deaconess, a member of the choir, and Sunday School teacher.
Dora was a 1951 graduate of Sims High School, Union, South Carolina. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina, and a Master’s degree from Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia. She did further study at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Spartanburg, and Union, and at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.
A long-time educator in the public school system, Dora began her teaching career in 1955 at Sims High School where she served as chairman of the Social Studies Department and the girls’ varsity basketball coach. After the schools were totally integrated, she taught Social Studies at Union High School and served as chairman of the Social Studies Department until she transitioned to Guidance Counselor in 1977. She served in this capacity until her retirement in 1991, culminating in a total of 36 years in education.
Beginning in 1989, Dora represented Union County as a County Councilwoman for District 2 for 23 consecutive years, serving as Vice Chairman for 12 years, and as Chaplin for 17 years. She was the first African-American woman elected to County Council and was the Council’s longest serving member. She was currently serving out her last term which was to end in December, 2012.
She was a member of numerous other community based-organizations and committees.
Dora was the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for education, governance, and community service.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, Ben Thomas and Lazelle Thomas.
Survivors in addition to her husband include one son, Dr. James R. “Jimmy” Martin, II of Blacksburg, VA; two daughters, Vera Sabrina Martin Torres of Rixeyville, VA and Patricia Duncanson of Tarrytown, NY; one stepson, Charlie Jennings III of Buffalo, NY; two stepdaughters, Debra Thompson and Vivian Jennings, both of Buffalo, NY; three sisters, Mozelle Thomas Moorman of Union, SC, Bertha Thomas of Mount Pleasant, SC, and Vesta Robinson of Warner Robins, GA; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren, three step grandchildren; four step great-grandchildren, and a number of nieces and nephews.
A visitation will be held Friday, Oct. 5, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at the Union County High School Gymnatorium, 1163 Lakeside Drive, Union, SC. Burial will follow in Rosemont Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family kindly suggests contributions be made to the Dora T. Martin Scholarship Fund, P O Box 1156, Union, SC 29379.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.michaelaglennfh.com.
Arrangements are with the Michael A. Glenn Funeral Home, 361 Meansville Road, Union, S.C.