P. Martin Ellard’s passions went far beyond his affinity for numbers.
A retired certified public accountant and former school board member, he also loved golfing and faithfully attended Kiwanis Club of Gainesville meetings.
“He was an icon among Kiwanians and was a friend to all,” said Jay Jacobs, president of the club’s board of directors.
Ellard, slowed by health issues in the past year or so, died Sunday at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. He was 87.
“Some of the last things he did was making sure he got all his affairs in order,” said his son, Bill Ellard, an Atlanta lawyer.
Martin Ellard and his wife of 63 years, Elizabeth Snowden Ellard, had sold their house and moved into a retirement community, Lanier Village Estates in North Hall County.
“He had hardly any energy at all and yet he was being his usual, responsible self, taking care of some major things he felt like he needed to get taken care of,” his son said. “That might have used up his remaining energy.”
The Cornelia native served in the U.S. Army at the end of World War II and would go on to start the firm P. Martin Ellard and Associates. He was president of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Ellard also was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Gainesville, serving as the club’s president in 1961.
He also had served as chairman of the Gainesville City Board of Education during one of its most difficult eras, court-ordered integration of schools in the late 1960s.
Charles Morrow, 91, of Gainesville, who served as counselor at all-black E.E. Butler High School during those days, remembered Ellard “as an excellent man to know.”
“He was fair, honest and sincere in what he did,” he said.
Ellard wasn’t always perfect, “but he was always available to reconsider what he had done and change it if were for the benefit of the community,” Morrow said.
He remained busy over the years in his business and public service, including a 2005 appointment by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue to the governing board for the Metro North Georgia Water Planning District.
“His 63 years of perfect attendance (in Kiwanis) says a lot about the kind of man Martin was,” Jacobs said. “He often said how much he loved his family, Kiwanis, the community and golf.”
Ellard also was proud of his family’s past.
In his apartment at Lanier Village, he kept his father’s sword and Marine photograph from World War I in a glass case on the wall of a room. He also kept Pope Ellard’s leather leggings from those military days.
And, on an opposing wall, was a photo of Martin Ellard during his Army days.
In a July interview about World War I’s 100th anniversary, he talked about the military connection between himself and his father, telling stories of their past.
After his father died at 99, several men who were members of the Marine Corps League approached Martin Ellard at the funeral and said they wanted to pay their respects.
“They came over the casket, stood at attention and saluted, then did an about-face,” Ellard said.
It was too much to handle for the younger Ellard.
“I broke down,” he said.
Funeral services are set for 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church at 751 Green St., Gainesville. A private family burial will take place at the Alta Vista Cemetery.
In addition to Bill Ellard and his wife, survivors include another son, Daniel, and one daughter, Nancy.