Honorable Faye Sanders Martin, retired Superior Court Judge for the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit, passed away on Saturday, May 27, 2023, at the Ogeechee Area Hospice Inpatient Facility. She was born on February 6, 1934 in Brooklet, Georgia. She is preceded in death by her husband, John Hollis Martin; her mother and father, Addie Louise Prosser Sanders and Elder C.E. Sanders; seven brothers, John Willie Sanders, Lehman Sanders, Sidney Sanders, Aubrey Sanders, Theo Sanders, L.E. Sanders, Benjamin Sanders; two sisters, Addie Jean Driggers and Tommie Mort; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She is survived by two daughters, Janna Martin (Stan Friedman) and Jenny Lynn Anderson and Mark Anderson; two granddaughters, Morgan Sonnier (Tyler) and Allison Anderson; two step grandchildren, Brad Friedman (Nhu-Mai) and Laura Crane (Judson); great-grandchild, Kensie Sonnier; step great-grandchildren, Stella and Claire Crane, and Balin, Sullivan and Milo Friedman; sister-in-law, Carolyn Sanders; and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved dearly.
Faith was foremost in Faye’s life, and during her childhood attended and was a member of Lanes Primitive Baptist Church in Stilson, Georgia, baptized by her father, Elder Carol Eugene Sanders at age fourteen. After moving to Statesboro, she transferred her membership to Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church, where she was a lifelong member.
She was born and reared in Bulloch County, graduated from Stilson High School in 1952, attended Georgia Teachers College (now Georgia Southern University), and Woodrow Wilson College of Law. She was awarded an honorary Juris Doctorate degree from Woodrow Wilson School of Law in October 1981. She was admitted to the Georgia Bar Association in 1956, and practiced law in Statesboro with the firm Anderson & Sanders until 1978, when she was appointed as Superior Court Judge for the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit by Governor George Busbee to fill a newly created judgeship for the Ogeechee Circuit. She was elected and served five consecutive four-year terms until her retirement and was appointed as a Senior Judge in 2000. She served as Chief Judge of the Ogeechee Circuit for many years from 1984 to 2000.
Admitted to the Georgia Bar Association at the age of 22, she was the first woman attorney in Bulloch County, the first woman appointed to the Georgia Superior Court bench, the first woman chief superior court judge in Georgia, and the first mother to swear in her daughter as an attorney in Georgia.
A biography of her life, “Judge Faye Sanders: Head Full of Sense, Heart Full of Gold,” was written by Drs. Rebecca Davis and Sandra Peacock and published in 2004 by Mercer University Press.
She received numerous honors and awards during her lifetime, the Amicus Curae award from the Supreme Court of Georgia for distinguished service and contribution to the administration of justice; Tradition of Excellence Award from the State Bar of Georgia for service to the public and bar; Woman of Achievement by the Statesboro Business and Professional Women’s Club; Certificate of Merit from the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Georgia Chapter for service to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice; Distinguished Alumni Award from Georgia Southern College; “Famous Bulloch Countian” in celebration of Georgia’s 250th Birthday; Who’s Who of Women of the World, of American Women, of the South and Southeast, of American Law, America and Georgia. She served on the Bulloch County Committee for construction of the Judicial Complex in Statesboro; served as Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia in absence of Justice Charles L. Weltner; served on the Superior Court Sentence Review Panel; appointed to the Commission on Certainty in Sentencing by Governor Roy Barnes. She served as Judge Pro-Tem for the Office of Justice of the Peace in Bulloch County during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
She was a member of the State Bar of Georgia, Bulloch County Bar Association, Georgia Council of Superior Court Judges, Statesboro Business & Professional Women’s Club, Georgia Southern University Alumni Association, Georgia Association of Women Lawyers.
Beyond the bench, Faye was an excellent cook, and often prepared her famous roasted goat for the Bulloch County Bar Association. She loved to fish in the Ogeechee River, the intracoastal waterways and St. Catherines Island Sound. She and her family enjoyed weekends at Yellow Bluff Fishing Camp and Colonels Island in Liberty County, Ga. Her pride and joy were her brothers and sisters, husband, children and grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family. Once asked if rearing children or practicing law was harder, she replied, “both,” which she did equally well. She had a love of nature, all of God’s creatures and was generous of spirit.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 29, 2023 at 11:00 am at the Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church with Elder Randy Waters officiating.
The family will receive visitors in the church fellowship hall following the service.
A graveside service and burial will be held at 2:00 p.m. in Eastside Cemetery in Statesboro.
The family has requested that memorial contributions be made to Lanes Primitive Baptist Church, 1022 Lanes Church Rd., Brooklet, GA 30415, Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church, 4 South Zetterower Ave, Statesboro, GA 30458 or to Ogeechee Area Hospice, P.O. Box 531, Statesboro, GA 30459. The family would like to thank the many caregivers at The Lodge at Bethany and Ogeechee Area Hospice.
Friends may sign the online register book at www.joineranderson.com
Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home & Crematory of Statesboro is in charge of the arrangements.