When driving through the Choctaw Reservation, one thing's for sure. Chief Phillip Martin made a lasting impression.
With flags at half-staff Friday, the reservation paid respect to the life of Chief Martin. And it's a life that Cyrus Ben, a Pearl River Tribal Council representative, said he also respects. He said Martin was a positive role model.
"Pushing us as tribal members to work for self determination, of attaining higher goals," said Ben. "And to get the scholarships available to the younger generations. And I utilized that, got an education. And then he also pushed for entrepreneurship, which I have stepped into."
Chief Martin was no stranger to goals. While his contributions to the reservation's economic development are immense, Ben says he served as something even larger.
The vision of progress Chief Martin had wasn't just for the reservation.
Philadelphia Mayor James Young said Chief Martin did great things for the reservation. Those great things spread into Philadelphia.
Ben said describing Martin's life is easy for him.... that he was a great man.
People from all over the country are expected to pay their respects to Martin in coming days. All services are public.
Visitation - McLain Hayes Funeral Home
Saturday, Feb.6 - 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 7 - 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Funeral - Holy Rosary Catholic Church
Monday, Feb. 8 - 11 a.m.