Today, the Athens Rotary Club held a special recognition ceremony for Freddie Martin and Jim McClary. Freddie has been an ACTIVE member for 64 years. Jim celebrated 50 years of perfect attendance.
Benjamin Frederick Martin, Jr.  (Freddie)
Freddie was the firstborn of Fred and Mary Houston Martin and he has been a lifelong resident of Athens.  He went to Athens High School and then on to Auburn University where he graduated in 1955 with a degree in Building Construction from the School of Architecture.  After college, Freddie served in the Army and was stationed in Germany.  During this time, he met the love of his life, Mary Pat, on the beach in Southern France.  Mary Pat and Freddie were married in June of 1958, and they have lived in Athens all of their married life. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren.  
In 1964, Freddie started Martin and Cobey Construction Company and his company has built or renovated many buildings within the community such as Athens High School Stadium, First Baptist Church, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, and Athens First United Methodist Beasley Center.  He received the Builder of the Year in 2017 from the Athens Limestone Home Builders Association for his outstanding service to the building industry in Limestone County.
Freddie and Mary Pat are members of the First United Methodist Church and Freddie has served in many different roles of leadership at the church.  He has been a faithful member of the Harris Sunday School Class, active participant in the Emmaus community and a supporter of Camp Sumatanga. During the 1996 renovation and addition to the First United Methodist Church they donated the bells and chimes.
Freddie joined the Rotary Club in 1958 when he returned home after serving in the Army.  He has been a Rotarian for 64 years and is a Martin-Young Paul Harris Fellow.  He and his family hosted Lisbeth Christiansen, a Danish student, through the Rotary Student Exchange program and they still keep in touch with Lisbeth. He has held many leadership roles in Rotary including President and has been a loyal supporter of the Rotary Foundation. 
Besides Rotary and the church, Freddie has been involved with other local organizations such as the Alabama Veterans Museum, North Alabama Boy Scouts where he received the Silver Beaver Award, Athens City Schools Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and Athens State University.  He served on the Auburn University Industrial Advisory Board for Building Science and has been a loyal supporter of Auburn University since his graduation in 1955. 
Jim McClary
Jim was born and raised in Decatur, Al.  He attended high school at Columbia Military Academy and earned a college degree from The University of Southern Mississippi.  It was there that he met his wife, Linda.  Jim and Linda were married in 1971 and moved to Athens.  He opened McClary Tire that same year.  Jim maintains a business interest in McClary Tire of Athens, McClary Tire of Decatur and McClary Ford of Athens. 
The McClarys have two children and four grandchildren.  Jim and Linda are members of The First United Methodist Church, and Jim has served as the Sunday School Superintendent there for a number of years.
Jim joined The Athens Rotary Club in 1972 and has maintained perfect attendance in the club since he joined (50 years).  Jim’s father, Emmett McClary, who started McClary Tire in Decatur, maintained perfect attendance in the Decatur Rotary Club for 61 years.  Jim has served The Athens Rotary Club as President (1977-78), Rotary Information Committee (18 years) and was awarded the Martin-Young Paul Harris Fellow in 1989.