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LELAND E. MARTIN - GRAND ISLE - Leland E. Martin, "Uncle", 91, passed away Sunday, April 22, 2012, in the house that he was born in, on Griswold Road in Grand Isle, with his family by his side. Leland was born June 13, 1920, in Grand Isle, the son of the late Henry Lewis and Lizzie Blow Martin. He worked every day on different farms in Grand Isle. Upon receiving his driver's license at 16 years of age, Leland became the driver of Grand Isle County Veterinarian Claude Parks, as he made his rounds of area farms. In 1942, Leland was drafted into the U.S. Army. After basic training, he was sent to England and served all over Europe. On June 6, 1944, "D-Day", he was a member of the 3rd wave of 160,000 soldiers that stormed the beaches at Normandy. On that day, he was captured and held by the German Army as a Prisoner of War for 10 months, before being liberated by the Russians in 1945. At this time, he and the other released prisoners, began an 800 mile walk to free territory. Upon his discharge, he came back to Grand Isle and started working for the Rutland Railroad. On July 27, 1946, he married Shirley Tourville in South Hero and together they ran the family farm in Grand Isle. "Uncle" played baseball for the Grand Isle baseball team and belonged to the Island Bowling League for over 40 years. He was a director of the District 1 Fire District and Water Board and was instrumental in bringing town water into Grand Isle. He was active in both St. Joseph and St. Rose Catholic Churches in the Islands where he enjoyed running the Bingo. He was a member of both the VFW and American Legion, where he liked helping out with the dinners. What are we going to do without Leland's keen memory and sharp mind? He could remember everyone's age, date of birth and was able to answer any questions that one might have about the Islands. "Uncle" is survived by his wife of 65 years, Shirley Martin of Grand Isle; his daughter, Marcia and her husband, Roy Lamphere of Colchester; his beloved grandsons, Shawn and wife, Kelly Lamphere of Grand Isle and Shea Lamphere and Liz Roy of Colchester; his special great-grandchildren, Jessy-Lee Lamphere, Nick Lamphere and Nate Lamphere; his in-laws, Charles Jr. and Bernita Tourville, Frank and Pearl Tourville, Donald and Elaine Tourville, Roger Jones and Elaine Delisle; and several nieces, nephews and godchildren. He was predeceased by his brothers and sisters, Hayden Blow, Boyden and wife, Viola, Rodney and wife, Mildred Martin, Avis Coolidge, and his twin sister, Lilith and her husband, Harold Wilcox; and his in-laws, Leola Santor, Virgil Tourville, Larry Tourville and Patty Jones. Everyone knew that "Uncle" loved playing Bingo and in his later years, unable to drive he would attend only if he had a driver. The family wishes to thank his "Bingo Drivers", Joyce, Suzy and Patty. Thanks also go to Leo and Joyce Pidgeon, Stanley and Nancy Wood and Frank and Lisa Cassidy for their assistance. A special thanks also goes out to the staff of the VNA, his Bath Girls and Nurses, Rick Dooley, Julia Jacques and Dr. Alan Ramsay. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday April 27, 2012, at 11 a.m. in St. Rose of Lima Church in South Hero with Fr. Lawrence Ridgley, Celebrant. Burial with Full Military Honors will follow in the Grand Isle Cemetery. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday April 26th from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Minor Funeral Home, Route 7 in Milton. Online condolences may be made at www.minorfh.com. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Grand Isle Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 79, Grand Isle, VT 05458; or the Grand Isle Fire Department, P.O. Box 123, Grand Isle, VT 05458.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Apr. 25, 2012
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