Cover photo for James Kelly Martin's Obituary
James Kelly Martin Profile Photo

James Kelly Martin

February 17, 1965 — June 1, 2023


James Kelly Martin

James Kelly Martin, 58, of Ellabell, died Thursday evening in a motorcycle accident on Highway 80 near Meldrim Road in Effingham County.


              Born in Peru, IN on February 17, 1965 to the late Philip Bryant Martin and Mary L. Martin. Martin had lived in the Low Country for over 20 years. He served as General Manager of the Rinchem’s Savannah Export location in Garden City, frequently consulting on the operation of hazardous materials facilities all over the world. In all, Martin worked for multiple companies over a distinguished 30+ year career in warehousing and logistics after graduating from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY with degrees in Business and Religious Studies.

            “Kelly” to his friends, was a biker, with strong connections to the local community. A patched member of the Redrum MC, Kelly was a beloved member of the First Nations Ogeechee Chapter. He helped organize charitable events for several charitable causes around the area. He became known for his wild gray hair and larger-than-life hugs. Friends could never miss the surly-looking Martin and his surprisingly white shoes, riding an all-black Harley Davidson.

            Prior to relocating to Georgia, Martin served in the United States Air Force before a knee injury forced his honorable discharge in the early 1990s. A fixture in local veteran events, he helped facilitate rides benefitting those who served in the armed forces and their families.

            Kelly will be remembered for his generosity, his spirit, and the positivity he brought to the lives of others, whether they had known him for 20 years or for 20 minutes. His proudest accomplishment remained the relationships he forged, the family he built, and the friends that became brothers and sisters along the way.


            Survivors: His “Life”, Elaine Martin; two sons, Nicholas of Rapid City, SD, and Michael and his fiance, Kelly Riley of Washington DC; two stepsons, Chris and his wife Jessica, and Dustin Ellrod and his wife Kristi; two stepdaughters, Amanda Shepard and her husband Daniel, and McKenzie Livie and her significant other, Joe Cushman; two brothers, Gary and Randy Martin; and mother-in-law Shigeko Baker and three grandchildren, Easton, Kolsen and Emery.


            Celebration of Life Service: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 10 at Savannah VFW Post 660 & Auxiliary, 5115 Ogeechee Rd., Savannah, GA. Phone: (912) 235-3001.


             In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to SAFE Shelter, Center for Domestic Violence Servies, Inc. at PO Box 61119, Savannah, Georgia 31420.

To order memorial trees in memory of James Kelly Martin, please visit our tree store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

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