Martin Lacy Smith
September 4, 2006
"He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again." Hamlet, Act 1,Scene 2.
Martin Lacy West, "Lucy", husband, father, child of God, died Monday, September 4, 2006, at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee. He was 79 years old.
Lacy was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, the son of Merrill L. West and Sarah Cook West. He was brought to Kingsport as a two year old when his father was employed to operate Kingsport's new water works plant. Lacy's parents enrolled their baby in the Cradle Roll at First Presbyterian Church, the same church later chosen by Lacy himself.
Lacy was a talented high school athlete who earned a football scholarship at the Unversity of Alabama at the end of his junior year at Dobyns-Bennett High School. Lacy joined the Navy in 1945 and again played football on the Navy service team, just prior to his discharge when the war ended.
Lacy worked at the Kisgsport Times, first as a police reporter and sports writer, and later as managing editor at age 20. He earned a Bachelor of Law degree after his work shift, setting up study books from LaSalle Extension University on a card table in his living room. Lavy passed the Tennessee Bar examination in 1951. The law was in Lacy's heart and mind, and he did not retire from practice, finally leaving his work only when illness intervened. Lacy was Kingsport City Judge in 1952 to 1955 and Attorney General for Sullivan, Hawkins, Hamblen, and Greene Counties in 1955 to 1956. He was a past president of the Kingsport Bar Association, and its Foundation, and a member of the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society. He was also vice-president for the Eastern Division of the Historical Society for the United States District Court.
Lacy's productive life was sustained by his love for his family, including his marriage to his beloved wife, Julia, who survives him. He is also survived by his children, Thomas L. West, Daytona Beach, FL, Marilyn Newcomb and husband,Tommy, Lewisburg, TN, and Betsy Camper and husband, Rob, Vero Beach, FL; and his brother, Jim West and wife, Alma, Live Oak, FL. His five grandchildren are Sean Blaisdell, Jay Blaisdell, Will Van Zonneveld, Thomas West, and Christopher West; and hist two great-grandchildren are Nicholas and Trevor Blaisdell.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Merrill West and Sarah Cook West; sister, Mary West Harvey; and the mother of his children, Carol Anderson West.
Lacy was a happy man, and friends will remember good times they shared with him. He bred, raised and showed Tennessee Walking Horses ad Airdale dogs. Horses such as "Mack K's Big Story", "Go Boy's April Love", "Sweet Revenge", and "Final Expression" will always be associated with Lacy. Lacy's sense of self was founded in part by his Highland Scots heritage from his mother's home in the North Carolina Cape Fear Valley.
Lacy's strength came from his life's work, and from those whom he loved. Those who loved him will both mourn and celebrate his life.
Graveside services were held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Oakmont Hill Memorial Park.
Pallbearers were Boyd Cyphers, John Robert "Rob" Camper, Paul Thomas "Tommy" Newcomb, Sean David Blaisdell, Jay Edward Blaisdell, Will Van Zonneveld, and Steven Cecil Rose.
Honorary pallbearers were William T. Gamble, William S. Todd, David S. Haynes, Burkett C. McInturff, C.T. "Thad" Herndon III, Judge William H. Inman, and members of the Kingsport Bar Association and Judiciary.
A memorial service were conducted at 11 a.m. Thursday at First Presbyterian Church by Rev. Dr. David A. Cagle officiating. The family will receive friends at the church following the memorial service.
Memorials may be made to the Kingsport Bar Association Scholarship Endowment, which Lacy helped establish, c/o Steven Huret, P.O. Box 88, Kingsport, TN, 37662; or First Presbyterian Church, 100 W. Church Circle, Kingsport, TN 37660. Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home, Kingsport, served the family of Lacy West.