Jerry W. "Gator" Martin, 84, of Shelbyville

Jerry W. “Gator” Martin, 84, of Shelbyville passed away Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at Franciscan Health in Indianapolis.


He was born June 13, 1936, in Edgewood, the son of Ralph and Delpha (Ellis) Martin. On March 8, 1986, he married his wife of 35 years, Fredonna K. Lesh, and she survives.


In addition to Fredonna, Jerry is survived by his children, Susan Martin-Gibbons of Carmel, Bruce Martin of Shelbyville, Stephanie Sanders and husband, Jim, of Greenwood, and Greg Totten and wife, Donna, of Indianapolis; sister, Berndene Lane and husband, Mark, of Pearland, Texas; grandchildren, Tessa Gibbons, Kylie Beaty and husband, Zane, Kari Daffron and husband, Alex, Cisma Ferguson and husband, David, Courtney Winslow, Jacob Sanders, Mitchel Sanders, Joshua Totten and Michael Totten; great-grandchildren, Christian Ferguson, Landon Ferguson, Oliver Ledden and Jensen Locke; numerous nieces and nephews; and many truly wonderful friends.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; daughter-in-law, Mary Martin; sisters, Helen Renner, Emmalee Weaver, Betty Thompson, Ruth Scarbrough and Letha Martin; and brothers, Don Martin and Bill Martin.


He graduated in 1954 from Fairland High School.


Jerry worked at and then later owned and operated Bonded Oil from 1952 to 2014. Throughout his business career he sponsored many bowling and youth leagues. His mentor, lifelong friends and business partners, Bruce and Charlotte Wright, were very influential in his life.


Jerry’s motto was “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”


He was formerly a member of the Fairland United Methodist Church, where he was a youth group leader.


Jerry loved to play golf and cards, with his friends and family, and enjoyed the thrill of victory.

He also served one term as a school board member for Triton Central Schools.


Private family services will be observed and a Celebration of Jerry’s life will be held at a later date.


Services have been entrusted to Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville.


Memorial contributions may be made to Dinner Before Bedtime, 157 E. Rampart Road, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176 or Meals on Wheels, 1728 E. State Road 44, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176.


Online condolences may be shared with Jerry’s family at