Willis J. Martin, Labor Department division chief

Willis J. Martin, 89, a statistician and economist who retired as a Labor Department division chief in 1987, died Jan. 16 at his home in Washington.

The cause was congestive heart failure. A daughter, Lynn Martin, confirmed the death.

Mr. Martin joined the Labor Department as an industrial relations analyst in 1951. He became a national industrial training adviser and ultimately division chief of the Office of Older Worker Programs in 1982.

Willis Jefferson Martin II was a native of Decherd, Tenn., and a Navy veteran of World War II. He was a 1949 industrial relations and history graduate of Bluefield State College in West Virginia and a 1956 graduate of Georgetown University law school.

He was a former committee chairman of what is now the United Way and a past chairman of the Washington chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality, a civil rights organization.

His wife of 52 years, Henriene Martin, died in 2003. Survivors include three children, Willis Martin III and Angela Martin, both of Washington, and Lynn Martin of New York City; four sisters, Alice Martin of Oxon Hill, Elizabeth Martin of Washington, Fannie Smith of Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Pamela Butts of Flemington, N.J.; three brothers, McKinley Martin of Landover, Phillip Martin of Fort Washington and Francis Martin of Gary, W.Va.; and four grandchildren.

— Megan McDonough

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