Eugene Martz

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Eugene Victor Martz

Much loved and respected husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother and friend, long-time resident of San Rafael, "Gene" passed away at his home on February 28, 2014 from cancer.


He was born Eugene Victor Dickerson on January 23, 1925 in Little Falls, MN, the son of Martha Mary Deering and Franklin A. Dickerson. After his parents' divorce, he moved with his mother to Livingston, MT, where his mother met and married Ernest Henry Martz who later adopted Gene. Gene grew up in Duluth, MN graduating in 1943 from Duluth Central High School. Immediately sworn in to the U.S. Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet in pilot training, he finished his World War II service in 1946 as a flight engineer on a B-25 in the Pacific theater.


Gene earned a 3-year diploma in commercial art from the Minneapolis School of Art in 1950 and went on to the University of Minnesota where he earned a B.A.. in art, and both a B.S. and M.Ed. in art education in 1954. Gene was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He taught art at Troy  State College in Troy, Alabama and then returned to the Twin Cities where he worked in advertising prior to moving to Marin County, CA in 1957.


In 1978 Gene and his wife built a second home in Grand Marais, MN and subsequently divided their time between Grand Marais and the North Shore of Lake Superior and their home in California until permanently moving back to Marin in 1999. Gene was active in the Grand Marais Art Colony, where he taught several art classes and also conducted two art workshops in Tuscany and Umbria, Italy.


He continued to work in advertising in San Francisco for 10 years on both the corporate side as advertising manager for Western Machinery Company and at the ADS advertising agency. In 1967 Gene returned to teaching, retiring from 23 years at Novato High School in Marin Co. as chairman of their fine arts department. He taught visual arts, photography and cinematography/videography. He also taught in the community education program at College of Marin and taught art to seniors in San Francisco at UC Berkeley Extension's Center for Learning in Retirement (CLIR) and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at CSU San Francisco. He also wrote, photographed and produced several series of education visual aids in art, social studies, history and art education used in public schools.


Gene had a lifelong love of flying and earned both his private pilot's and glider licenses, flying his sailplane all over the west. He was the founding president of the North Bay Soaring Association in Sonoma, a "Diamond "C" pilot and member of the Soaring Society of America. Known for his great sense of humor, Gene also loved the outdoors and was an avid canoeist, camper and fly fisherman. He and his wife also traveled extensively in both U.S. and Europe.


Gene is survived by his wife of more than 61 years, Bonnie Jean (Gaskill) Martz of San Rafael, his son Craig Phillip Martz and daughter-in-law Nancy Grant of Sacramento, four grandchildren: Samantha Grant Martz of San Francisco, Jeffrey Grant Martz of Oakland, Christopher Wayne McGovern of  Redding and Nicole Renea McGovern of Sacramento. He is also survived by his brother Ernest Roy Martz of Minneapolis and several nieces and nephews. He is greatly missed by his family and friends.


Gene requested no memorial services. Cremation handled by the Trident Society. Memorial donations in Gene's honor may be made to Hospice by the Bay, the Grand Marais Art Colony, the Center for Learning in Retirement or a .


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 16, 2014
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