Charles Edward Martin(1929 - 2013)

CHARLES EDWARD MARTIN Charles Edward Martin, our beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at the age of 84 Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 in Chico, California. Known as Eddie to his wife, Ardith Eugenia Martin, who predeceased him in this city in August of 2012, Charles Edward Martin was a man for all seasons. Family and good food were the joys of his life. Speaking as his son, I have many fond memories. His unwavering support and willingness to go the extra mile bring to mind one especially vivid memory: In April of 1975, my dad took me to see Pink Floyd when all of my friend's parents demurred. I would repay this act of kindness later when I accompanied him to a Frank Sinatra concert. Such was our dad and stalwart friend. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania June 3rd, 1929 to parents Ann and Charles Martin who themselves were the children of Irish immigrants; dad grew up in the Fish Town section of that city so named for the Irish-Catholic population. He sold flowers on Market Street in Philadelphia at the age of twelve to supplement the family income. This was in 1941, the same year that the United States entered World War II. At the age of 14, in 1943, dad began working at the Keebler Cracker Company in Philadelphia preparing the cracker portion of the famous K-Rations carried by U.S. troops in both theaters of the war. He also worked as an usher at the Earle Theatre which afforded him the opportunity to see and meet many of the stars of the Big-Band era. Meeting Gene Krupa led to my dad's life-long love of playing the drums. My dad enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1947 when he was 17. Though he missed combat, dad served in Europe during the post-war occupation of Germany and after transferring to the Army Air Force participated in the Berlin airlift. (June 1948-May 1949) In 1949, Charles Edward Martin met my mother - Ardith McElroy- who was volunteering as a U.S.O. hostess at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. They were married March 28th, 1950 in Albuquerque, NM, where dad was stationed at the time. Their young Air Force family, including my older sisters Paula and Barbara, spent eleven years serving in Great Britain and the United States. Upon leaving the Air Force, our dad worked for Atlantic Richfield in Bakersfield, CA, where I was born in 1961. In 1967, Charles Edward Martin began working for Thums Oil Company in Long Beach, CA. During his tenure with Thums he rose to the position of payroll supervisor often travelling buy boat or helicopter to bring pay to the off-shore oil workers. Upon his retirement in 1993, our family relocated to Chico where my mother had been raised and where we'd spent many a vacation visiting our relations in Butte and Glenn counties. During his years in Chico, dad maintained an active lifestyle. He first worked as a driver for Airport Transportation Service before accepting a position with Hertz Rental Cars as a 'hiker'. During this time he also served as a Human Resources Commissioner for the city of Chico. From January of 2010, until her death in August of 2012, Charles 'Eddie' was a loving caretaker for his wife Ardith, having been married to the love of his life for 62 years. It was this strenuous act of love and devotion that led to the eventual decline of his own health. Charles Edward Martin is survived by his doting son Charles Anthony; his loving daughters Paula (Rick) and Barbara of Chico and Sonoma respectively. He is also survived by his loving grandchildren Paul (Lindsey), Richard (Jaime), Molly (Mitch), and Robin (Justin). Dad is also survived by five loving great-grandchildren including Claire who was visiting with her mother Robin during dad's final illness. Charles Edward Martin is also survived by his sisters Ann of Florida and Betty of Philadelphia. Besides his loving wife Ardith Eugenia Martin, Charles Edward Martin was predeceased by his parents Ann and Charles of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and his younger brother Joseph of Austin, Texas. "As I foretold you, we're all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air. We are such stuff as dreams are made on. And our little life is rounded with a sleep." God Bless and keep you, daddy. All your family will treasure forever the time we spent with you. A Rosary will be held Monday, July 8th, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 PM at Newton-Bracewell Funeral Home in Chico. A Mass will be held Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 at 10:00 AM at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Chico. To view or send condolences go online to

Funeral Home

680 Camellia Way Chico, CA 95926
(530) 342-9003

Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on July 5, 2013