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75 years of marriage
Couple's done a 'little of everything'
WEB 75 Marital Years 1 es
Claude and Fay Martin sit in their kitchen talking about their 75 years of marriage. - photo by Emily Saunders
To say Claude Martin and his wife, Fay, have been around Forsyth County for a while would be an understatement.

Let’s just say one street in their corner of north Forsyth is called Claude Martin Road.

Today, the couple celebrates 75 years together. When asked the secret to a long and successful marriage, Claude Martin suggested with a chuckle that folks “figure it out for themselves.”

The 96-year-old spent much of his life farming in north Forsyth County.

“We did a little of everything,” said Fay Martin, 92. “Raising turkeys, raising taters.”

She said the county has changed a lot over the years. The couple lives in the same home where they started out with “no electricity, no running water, no toilets.”

Fay Martin and her husband spent a lot of time growing plants on their property and inside several greenhouses they built in 1959. They continued to operate their greenhouses up until just two years ago.

Daughter-in-law Phyllis Martin said the couple grew vegetables, ferns, flowers and cacti.

“It used to be the only place around here that had plants like that,” Phyllis Martin said. “People came from all around to buy from them.”

Phyllis Martin said the family is planning a party to celebrate the couple’s anniversary.

“She wants chocolate cake,” she said of her mother-in-law. “We want to do something special for them. It’s pretty amazing to me. You don’t see people together for that long usually.”

The couple has been going to the same church for nearly as long. They attended Pleasant Grove Baptist Church together up until a couple of years ago.

They met in the 1930s at the former Chestatee High School.

“We were just kids,” Fay Martin said. “[Claude] and my brother used to run and play ball together all the time.”
For the most part, her husband said, “growing up in Forsyth County was pretty rough ... we got by though.”

Generations of Martins continue to live and work in Forsyth County.

The couple has one son, Carl, three grandchildren and nine great-granddaughters.

E-mail Frank Reddy at