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Emile Edgar "Mitz" Martin, III

Male 1921 - 2014  (92 years)

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  • Name Emile Edgar "Mitz" Martin  [1
    Suffix III 
    Nickname Mitz 
    Born 3 Jul 1921  Potash, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 17 Feb 2014  Belle Chasse, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 20 Feb 2014  Metairie Cemetery (Lake Lawn Metairie), New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Emile E. Martin III, a lawyer who never shrank from opposing the Perez political machine that ran Plaquemines Parish for decades, died Monday (Feb. 17) at his Belle Chasse home. He was 92.

      "He was always anti-Perez before it was safe to be that way," said Michael Kirby, a retired state appeals judge. "He had this passion to see things done right and to take up for the little guy against the giants."
      Nothing daunted him, Kirby said. "He was never afraid to take on anybody or anything. He might be wrong, but he'd go down fighting. . . . He always fought for what was right."

      Mr. Martin locked horns with Leander Perez, the family's patriarch, over desegregation because Mr. Martin believed schools should be integrated, said Johnette Martin, his daughter. "He said we have to provide an equal education for black children. That was the ending point of my father's working with Leander Perez."

      He lost his job as the parish's inheritance-tax collector, Johnette Martin said, and his law practice suffered because people were afraid their cases would be doomed if Mr. Martin represented them.

      But he carried on, frequently representing poor people who paid him in produce because they had no money, Johnette Martin said.

      "We would see people come to the back porch and leave a box of produce to pay my dad," she said. "Once he was paid with a freezer-ready butchered cow.

      "My father was a good man. He cared about people."

      Mr. Martin, who was elected to a state district judgeship in 1982, after the Perez family lost its clout, was a native of Port Sulphur whose father served on the parish police jury.

      He was a baker with the Seabees on a ship in the South Pacific during World War II. After leaving the service, he earned undergraduate and law degrees at LSU and set up a law practice in Plaquemines Parish.

      Mr. Martin ran for the Legislature in 1959, but he and the other members of his ticket lost because they were running against the Perez machine.

      He kept practicing law until he was elected to the 25th Judicial District bench, where he served one eight-year term.

      Among the lawyers who appeared before him was Mark Pivach, a former neighbor.

      "He was always fair," Pivach said. "He would always listen and do what he thought was right."

      Mr. Martin resumed his law practice after leaving the bench.

      Throughout his career, he was adamant once he took a position, his daughter said. "He had the heart of a lion."

      Although Mr. Martin could be firm, he had a wry sense of humor, Kirby said. "At one point, his staff pitched in and bought him a sweatshirt that said, 'Grumpy.' He said, 'I'm not grumpy; I'm irascible.'"

      He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church and the state and parish bar associations. He also worked with Boy Scout Troop 106, and he was an avid fisherman.

      Survivors include his wife, Amanda Zahn Martin; five sons, Edward Zahn Martin, Jay Edgar Martin, Robert Dale Martin, David Edward Martin and Gregory Frank Martin, all of Belle Chasse; a daughter, Johnette Leontine Martin of New Orleans; a brother, Ray Martin of Belle Chasse; a sister, Mary Lou Martin of Belle Chasse; and six grandchildren.

      A Mass will be said Thursday (Feb. 20) at noon at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Belle Chasse. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m.

      Burial will be in Metairie Cemetery.

      Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


      MARTIN Emile E. "Mitz" Martin, III passed away peacefully in his sleep at home after a long illness on Monday, February 17, 2014, at the age of 92. Emile was born in Happy Jack, Plaquemines Parish and he resided most of his life in Belle Chasse. He was the son of Mercedes Becnel and Emile E. Martin, Jr. He was the loving husband for 68 years to Amanda Zahn Martin and the father of Edward Zahn (Cindy), Johnette Leontine, Jay Emile, Robert Dale (Mary), David Edward and Gregory Frank Martin. "The Judge" was grandfather of Jean Paul, Jonathan (Sandi), Elizabeth, Justen, Jeremy and Emily Martin, and was looking forward to the birth of his first great grandchild this spring. He is survived by one brother Ray Martin (Donna) and one sister Mary Lou Ban, and was predeceased by his other siblings, Una Vullo, Benjamin, Eugene and Rita Mae Martin and Lorraine Landry. He is also survived by his brother-in-law James E. Johnson, sister-in-law Bennie Jay Zahn and numerous nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 8968 Highway 23, Belle Chasse, LA 70037 (394 0314) on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm. Interment will follow in Metairie Cemetery. Visitation in Church on Thursday from 10:00 am until service time. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to, St. Michael Special School, 1522 Chippewa St., New Orleans, LA 70130. To view and sign the guest book, please go to

      Published in The Times-Picayune from Feb. 18 to Feb. 19, 2014
    Person ID I23372  Strong Family Tree
    Last Modified 17 Oct 2014 

    Family Living 
     1. Living
     2. Living
     3. Living
     4. Living
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    Last Modified 9 Dec 2006 
    Family ID F7875  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 3 Jul 1921 - Potash, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 17 Feb 2014 - Belle Chasse, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 20 Feb 2014 - Metairie Cemetery (Lake Lawn Metairie), New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Morlas Men, ca 1951
    Morlas Men, ca 1951
    This photo was probably taken in the early 1950's apparently at a reunion.

    Back (left to right): Buddy Maumus? (ASSUMED), Carl Bishop, Grady Quinn, James “Red” Johnson, John Morlas, Louis Morlas, Paul Morlas, Alvin "Abby" Rohli.

    Front (left to right): Johnny Trapani, Charles Myers holding daughter Margo, Claude Bishop, Emile “Mitz” Martin, Leon Morlas, Edward Bordes, Leon Bordes


  • Sources 
    1. [S479] Zahn, Bennie Jay--The Families Pene Roquevert Morlas (Privately Published; New Orleans, LA 1992) , updates and corrections issued periodically.