John C. Martin, who served the Council of Chief Judges as its president  in 2014,  died peacefully at his home in Raleigh, North Carolina on April 9, 2024.   He was 80 years old.  A Durham native who attended Wake Forest University law school and served briefly on the Durham City Council, Martin was first appointed as a Superior Court judge in 1977. He was first elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in 1984. He ultimately served on the court for more than 24 years, including 10 as chief judge from 2004 until he retired in 2014.

After his retirement in 2015, he was honored by the North Carolina Supreme Court Historical Society, “as a man who gave every bit of his considerable talent to his job, his court and his State, all day, every day.”

In 2021 he was inducted into the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal Hall of Fame.   On that occasion the   Past President of the North Carolina Bar Association,  John R. Wester,  spoke of Judge Martin: “He was more than an exemplary member of the bench. He chaired the Judicial Standards Commission, a guardian of the conduct of our judges, and he volunteered for committee service for the North Carolina Bar Association.  During his 30-plus years on the bench, Judge Martin combined scholarship with collegiality and dedication to upholding the rule of law.” .

Martin’s  services were held at  Christ Episcopal Church in downtown Raleigh, where he was a member.   After his retirement, Martin continued to serve on the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal and was inducted into the Council’s  Hall of Fame for his exemplary public service.

North Carolina  Governor  Roy Cooper ordered the United States and North Carolina Flags lowered to half staff in honor of Judge Martin.  In a statement to the press, the Governor declared:  “The Honorable John C. Martin was an exemplary public servant and judge who served the state for over 30 years on the bench. I was saddened to hear of his passing and my thoughts and prayers are with his friends and loved ones at this time.”

Survivors include his wife, Margaret, who was well known to members of the Council,  five children and nine grandchildren.