Shirley “Jean” Souther Martin, 74, of Statesville, N.C., passed away peacefully on Friday, November 10, 2023, at the Gordon Hospice House.

Jean, as she was affectionately known, was born October 17, 1949, in Iredell County and was the daughter of the late Ulysses Grant Souther and Margerett Davis Souther. She was a graduate of North Iredell High School, received her music degree at Mitchell Community College, graduated from Campbell University with a degree in education, and later earned her master’s degree from Gardner-Webb University.

Jean had a very interesting work career while she was in school and while her husband David was in school. They both attended school at Campbell University and while there, she worked in the business office and then for a while she worked at Iredell Memorial Hospital in bookkeeping. During David’s time in school and in the ministry, she served as minister of music at East Flat Rock Baptist Church, West Henderson Baptist Church, Coats Baptist Church, and Lake Lynn Baptist Church while also keeping the church books. She taught school in Fayetteville and Pittsboro, at Celeste Henkel of Iredell County, and Sugar Loaf in Taylorsville.

She was a retired school teacher and a member at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. She was married for 52 years to her beloved husband, Rev. David Martin.

In addition to her parents, Jean was preceded in death by her daughter, Michelle Martin.

She is survived by her husband, Rev. David Martin; one daughter, Christi Little (Richard); one son, Sammy Martin (Deree); her brother, Grant Souther (Karen); her sister, Denise Martin (Larry); three granddaughters, Alex Thomas, Catherine Martin, and Audrey Martin; two grandsons, Collin Parson and Nathan Martin; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A funeral service to celebrate the life of Jean Martin will be conducted at 3 p.m. Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church with Rev. Brian Douthit, Rev. Dan Spears, and Rev. David Martin officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will visit with friends on Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.

Memorials may be made to Gideon’s International or to the Gordon’s Hospice House, 2341 Simonton Road, Statesville 28625.

Online condolences may be made to the family at

Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.