Sweetwater remembers beloved teacher, coach, community member Carola Martin

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SWEETWATER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Sweetwater is remembering a woman who was dedicated to the community and school district.

Carola Martin died Tuesday from cancer, and though she’s gone, she leaves behind a big legacy.

“She’s left her mark, even when the kids that we have now are gone,” says Al Hunt.

Some of those who were close to her are remembering a woman who made an impact in each of their lives in the classroom, on the fairway, center stage, or as an advocate.

Treva LeBleu worked with Carola at Sweetwater Middle School, and they were a couple of pranksters, especially on their class trips to Washington D.C.

“One year we left Mrs. Gabler as the bottom of the Washington D.C. cathedral, she had no idea where we had sneaked off to, but Carola wanted to go up to the top and see Washington D.C. from up there. And we didn’t tell Ms. Gabler about that for several weeks, but that’s who she was, I mean, she wanted to see it all, live it all, and do it with love,” LeBleu says.

And one of her biggest loves was the golf course, with Al Hunt her second in command as they helped students hit a hole in one.

“I thought I was talking to her and she’d be halfway down the fairway with a kid going over a rule or a proper drop or something like that, and then here she comes again, those little, skinny legs just hooking it through there, and I knew I was in the right place,” Hunt says.

And from the green to the stage, Carola was a leader in the Miss Snake Charmer Pageant.

“A lot of times the girls in Sweetwater would want to do the pageant because they knew that Coach Martin was going to be there,” Carolyn Mullican says.

But there was nothing sweeter than Carola’s heart, especially when a friend was in need.

“She stepped in on those difficult days when you just didn’t feel good and you wanted to keep going but you couldn’t. I knew I was going to be taken care of, that’s just the kind of person she always was,” says Jill Locklar, who worked with Carola on Friday night football games.

She was the heart and soul of Sweetwater.

“I still see her on that cart just scooting around out here, she’ll be chasing kids on one side and I’ll be on the other side, and we’ll meet under a tree, and what’d you get done, and it was special,” Al Hunt.

“She was just the type of person you couldn’t help but just love,” Mullican says.

“She taught with intensity, she loved with intensity and she fought cancer with intensity,” LeBleu says.

Friends and co-workers say they couldn’t believe all the things she was involved with in the Sweetwater community, and that she did it all with a smile on her face.

A scholarship has been started in Carola’s honor. The scholarship will be given to a deserving student at Sweetwater High School whose parent has had cancer. Money can be sent to the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce. Checks should be made to: Sweetwater Improvement with Carola Martin Scholarship in the memo. Chamber’s address is: Sweetwater & Nolan County Chamber of Commerce 810 East Broadway Street Sweetwater, TX 79556 or call (325) 235-5488, or email karen@sweetwatertexas.org

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