Martin Van Buren went to be with his Lord and Savior on March 10, 2013. He was born July 12, 1924 in Toledo, OH to Martin C. and Norma (Speers) Van Buren. He attended the University of Toledo until he was drafted into the US Army. Following his military service, Martin attended Northwestern University in Evanston, IL; where he graduated with a degree in speech and communications. For a while, he was a radio announcer in a small Ohio town...but, Martin was a drummer at heart. Whenever the opportunity arose to play drums in the Chicago area, he took it. It was at that time that he met a singer, Jeanne (Jaye) Cialoni. On a snowy February night, he drove her home from the jazz club where they worked and the rest, as they say, is history. Martin married Jaye on May 15, 1949. They were married 63 years and together raised two daughters. When their children were young, he and Jaye's two brothers started an auto parts warehouse. After retiring, they moved to the Lynden area to be near their children and grandchildren. Martin continued playing his drums at every opportunity, whether it was in the church praise team or to jam on Tuesday's jazz night at Boundry Bay. Martin was also actively involved with the Whatcom County Republicans. You would often find him collecting petition signatures, pounding in signs or registering new voters. He will be greatly missed and forever remembered for his self-less nature, loving kindness and heart of gold. Martin was preceded in death by his wife, Jaye, the love of his life, only 38 days before his passing. He is survived by his two daughters; Cheryl (Gerald) Vander Kooi, Karen (Jim) Sanger; grandchildren Evan Marcus, Daniel (Erin) Vander Kooi and Susan Vander Kooi; great-grandchildren Taya and Case Vander Kooi; sister, Mary Lou Van Buren; sister-in-law Gloria Flanagan and brother-in-law Chuck (Reene) Cialoni; and numerous nieces and nephews. Visitation hours are scheduled Thursday, March 14, 5 to 8 pm at Gillies Funeral Home. A graveside service for family and friends will be conducted Friday, March 15, 3:00 pm at Greenwood Cemetery on E. Wiser Lake Road. A celebration of Martin's life will be held Friday, March 15, 7:00 pm at Faith Reformed Church, 612 Liberty St., Lynden. Memorial donations in Martin's name may be made to: Lynden Christian Schools, 417 Lyncs Dr., Lynden, WA 98264 or Whatcom Republicans, 2321 E. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham, WA 98226. You are invited to share your memories and condolences in the online guest book at www.gilliesfuneralhome.com.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in Bellingham Herald on March 13, 2013