PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Pen Air Federal Credit Union is mourning the loss of its former board chairman Arthur Carroll "A.C." Martin.
In May 2005, Pen Air FCU honored Martin for his over 25 years of dedicated service as he retired as board chairman to spend more quality time with family and friends.
During his years with the credit union, Martin oversaw many grassroots efforts to combat taxation and membership issues. He saw Pen Air FCU grow and prosper through recessions and other economic phases. He also helped oversee the credit union as it left the non-computer generation of early years and evolved into the fully automated, e-capable financial institution it is today.
As dedicated as Martin was to the credit union industry, he was equally active in his community by serving on committees such as the Baldwin County Alabama Planning Committee, Return Officer for the Election Polls, Director of Robertsdale AL Stockyard, Lifetime Director of the Alabama Cattleman's Association, a member of the Scottish Rite Masons and member of the New Hope United Methodist Church. He is survived by his wife of over 60 years Olene, three children, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Credit union executives note that as a World War II veteran, Martin was an invaluable source of insight to the civil service and military members of Pen Air FCU. His credentials were vast, with experience as an aeronautical engineer with the School of Aviation Medicine at NAS Pensacola FL, where he was an integral part of the space program.
Under the supervision of Captain Ashton Graybiel, Martin's team re-designed a Jupiter Army Missile to hold a small but important passenger. On May 28, 1959, after much research and training by Martin, a tiny squirrel-monkey named Miss Baker was launched 300 miles into space in a race against Russia's space mission. The monkey was retrieved unharmed--making her the first monkey to travel into space; spurring further efforts of the space exploration program that later landed man on the moon. The rest is, literally, history as the missile is now part of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collection in Washington, D.C.