ROBERT MARTIN Sr.

Obituary
  • "Thank you for your service and for keeping our Country free"

Robert Doud Martin, Sr. Robert Doud Martin, Sr., age 87, died in Gig Harbor, Washington on Thursday, October 18, 2012, surrounded by family and close friends. Born in Tacoma on June 19, 1925, Bob grew up on Commencement Bay, beginning a lifelong attraction all things maritime. He was the son of Ross and Geneva ("Neva") Martin. Bob graduated from Stadium High School and continued his education at the University of Washington. While there, he joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, where he made friends that lasted a lifetime. When WWII started, Bob enlisted with the NROTC and was assigned to the LST 451 (a tank landing craft). He saw action in the Pacific theater and his ship was tasked with fighting the Japanese in order to take control of several islands including Saipan, Tinian, Leyte, Lingayen Gulf and Okinawa Gunto. In 1945 he mustered out of the Navy as a Lieutenant J.G. After the war, Bob returned to his studies at the University, where he turned out for crew. A natural oarsman, Bob was proud to earn a gold medal in the men's coxed fours event at the 1948 Olympics in London with teammates Warren Westlund, Bob Will, Gordy Giovanelli and Allan Morgan. He graduated with a B.A. in Business, and began a long and successful career in the timber industry, employed with Weyerhaeuser, where he worked until his retirement, leaving in 1982 as Vice President of Special Products. In 1952 Bob married Virginia Lutz and together they welcomed four sons into the world, Bob Jr., Donald, Patrick, and Matthew. In the early years of their marriage, the couple bought and remodeled a farm in Cromwell. Soon after, his career took him and his young family to live in Baltimore, Coos Bay, and Arcadia. In 1965, they returned to Gig Harbor and built another farm near Sunny Bay. They divorced in 1973 after twenty years of marriage. Never one to go small, and in keeping with his love affair of the sea, Bob purchased the LESLIE FOSS in 1967 - a WW II vintage 127' wooden tugboat. Bob and his family enjoyed the tug over many summers, vacationing in Canada on Octopus Island, where he and his Olympic crewmates shared ownership of the island. Bob remarried Pam Wilkes Koste in 1975. Tragically, a year later, he lost his son Patrick in a terrible accident. But, as Bob often said, he gained another son, David, from Pam's previous marriage. Still happily married at the time of his death, Bob and Pam enjoyed 37 years together, with many happy summers spent in Canada, relaxing with friends and family, enjoying the sea's bounty. In 1987 Bob and Pam built their dream home above the Harbor, never tiring of the view. It was from this vantage that Bob spent his final years close to the water that he loved, happy always to greet the many visitors who stopped by. He never lost his keen mind and desire to learn something new every day. He spoke with authority on a wide range of subjects and was an avid reader all of his life. His family misses him terribly for the larger than life man that he was. He was dearly loved. Bob was preceded in death by his son Patrick. He is survived by his wife Pam, and sons Bob Jr. and Barbara Hendricksen of Anchorage, AK; Don Martin and Meridith Lawrence of Seattle; Matt and Tracy Martin of Gig Harbor; and David and Dawn Koste of Gig Harbor. He was beloved by 4 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 PM November 16th, 2012 at the Agnus Dei Lutheran Church, 10511 Peacock Hill Avenue NW, Gig Harbor. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the "Patrick Martin Scholarship Fund" c/o Charles Wright Academy, 7723 Chambers Creek Road, Tacoma, WA 98487. Please sign Bob's online guestbook with your favorite memory at www.havenrest.com.

Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Oct. 31, 2012
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