Fr. Benjamin Martin was born on July 15, 1952 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Patrick Martin, deceased, and Mary Alice Semmes Gordon. Ben was predeceased by two brothers, Stephen and Patrick Martin. He is survived by his Mother, Mary Alice Semmes Gordon, his sister, Mary Alice “Missy” Fuehrer and her husband Dave, together with their two children, Lucian and Tyler Fuehrer.
From 1971 until 1974, Ben studied at the University of Tennessee. He worked at General Cryogenics from 1969 until 1982. In May of 1982, Fr. Ben joined the Army and served with distinction until his discharge in 1988. From that time until 1997, he was self-employed as a corporate investment manager and financer of corporations. Ben entered the SOLT novitiate in the year 2000, at the conclusion of which he assumed temporary promises of poverty, chastity and obedience. Ben spent the next several years studying theology in Rome. He professed perpetual promises in 2005. Fr. Ben was ordained to the priesthood by His Excellency Bishop Edmond Carmody on June 24, 2006.
Shortly after his ordination, Fr. Ben was diagnosed with several brain tumors and underwent immediate surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery was only partially successful, and Fr. Ben was left in an impaired condition which gradually worsened over the years. From 2006 until 2014, Fr. Ben was in residence at Casa San Jose where he was looked after by the late Fr. Michael Jordan, SOLT, Norma Andrada and other concerned community members, friends and volunteers. In 2014, Fr. Ben had a series of debilitating strokes which led to his being placed in a nursing home in Calallen, where he remained until 2017. At that time, Ben was transferred to Kenedy Health and Rehab in Kenedy, Texas. There he was looked after by a dedicated and caring staff. Fr. Ben passed away the evening of January 2, 2019, soon after having received the Anointing of the Sick. Fr. Ben lived his priesthood united to the passion of Christ and served the SOLT community and the Church by his prayers and by offering up his many sufferings.
He will be greatly missed by his fellow members in the SOLT community and, especially, by those who came to know him during his time of formation. Fr. Ben will be remembered in particular for his quick wit and ability to relate humorous and insightful stories.