Arthur F. Martin, a retired inspector for the Maryland Department of Agriculture, died of complications from a heart attack Monday at Oak Crest Village in Parkville. The former Pikesville resident was 97.
Mr. Martin was raised on a farm in Smithsburg, east of Hagerstown. After graduating from Smithsburg High School, he earned a degree in agriculture from the University of Maryland in 1931. That year, he began working as a food inspector.
He graded and inspected dairy and poultry products throughout the state, said his son-in-law, Gary Heichel of Martinsburg, W.Va. He visited large poultry facilities, including the Perdue plant on the Eastern Shore, Mr. Heichel said. He also inspected food shipments out of the port of Baltimore that were headed overseas to soldiers in World War II.
Mr. Martin retired from the agriculture department as a marketing-grading supervisor in 1975.
Before moving to Oak Crest, Mr. Martin lived for many years on five acres in Pikesville, where he spent much of his time gardening. "He was an avid vegetable and ornamental gardener," said Mr. Heichel. "He took great pride in his diverse plantings of azaleas and camellias."
He added that Mr. Martin was "an enthusiastic golfer until age 92. He also was a dedicated bridge player and bowler up until the last few weeks of his life."
A Mason, Mr. Martin was a 25-year member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and the Mount Moriah Lodge AF and AM.
His wife of 49 years, the former Madeline F. Parks, died in 1983.
A service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday at Grace English Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8601 Valleyfield Road, Lutherville.
Mr. Martin is survived by a daughter, Iris F. Heichel of Martinsburg; and a brother, George F. Martin of Chambersburg, Pa.