Bruce David Martin Sr., 68, of Cherokee, passed away Friday, June 19, 2015 at Cherokee Indian Hospital following an extended illness. He was born in Fort Defiance, Ariz., but has lived most of his life in Cherokee. He was a member of Olivet United Methodist Church and most recently attended Cherokee Baptist Church.
He was the son of Sarah Martin who passed away in 1984. His brothers, Thomas, and Dallas Martin also preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Nancy Harper Martin; sons, Bruce Martin Jr. and wife Christana of Cherokee, Wesley Martin and wife Angela of Elgin, Okla.; daughters, Connie Detlefsen and husband Kevin of Colorado Springs, Colo. and Sarah Martin of Cherokee; grandsons, Ryan Livengood, Lance Livengood, and Phoenix Martin; granddaughter, Jorden Livengood; brother, George Martin of Cherokee and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Bruce was a graduate of the Cherokee High School Class of 1966. He attended Griswold Academy in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated with an associate’s degree in Drafting. He was a former employee of the Cherokee Police Department and also served as Chief of Police and Director of Community Services for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. During that time, he was appointed to serve as a United States Deputy Marshal and was the first Native American to be appointed to that position. He later attended the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia and graduated with the 123rd Session in 1980.
In 1991, he founded Qualla Security, Inc., of which he was still the President and CEO. In 2009, together with his wife, Nancy, and son, Bruce Jr., he established Long House Funeral Home in Cherokee.
The funeral service was held on Sunday, June 21 in the Chapel of Long House Funeral Home. Burial followed at Birdtown Cemetery. The Rev. Percy Cunningham officiated. Pall Bearers were: Tim Christian, J.D. Raby, Norman Reed, Charles Sheehan, George Elder, Alex Harper, and Joshua Harper.