Clifford Johnson Martinka

Martinka, Clifford Johnson
April 14, 1938 - March 18, 2014
Well renowned wildlife research scientist, Clifford Johnson Martinka, 75, passed away at his home in Nokomis, FL on March 18, 2014. He was in born in Providence Rhode Island on April 14, 1938. "Cliff" grew up in York, PA and was educated at William Penn High School, Penn State University, and Montana State University in Bozeman, MT where he obtained both his BS and MS degrees.
After graduating from college, Cliff worked for the Montana Fish and Game Department in Glasgow, Havre, and Lewistown, MT. His research eventually led him to Glacier National Park, Montana where he became the Chief Scientist for the Park and ultimately built one of the largest National Park research programs in the country, along with initiating some of the first grizzly bear research ever conducted in Glacier NP. Towards the latter part of his career, Cliff was placed in charge of research under the US Geological Survey for Glacier, Yellowstone, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, where he traveled extensively to present papers throughout Western Europe an SE Asia.
After thirty-three years as a wildlife researcher and administrator, Cliff retired to a warmer climate. He and wife, Valeria, moved to Nokomis, FL in 2000. Fishing, boating, and birding became his dominant pastimes. Cliff was also an extremely talented photographer and painter. He loved music and could often be heard singing along to his favorite Frank Sinatra tunes.
Cliff is survived by his wife, Valeria, of nearly fifty-four years; three children: Colonel Steven Clifford Martinka of Helena, MT, Kathryn Ann Devoll of Redding, CA, Karen Martinka Code, of Denver, CO; sister Judy Ericson of Waynesboro, VA; brother Bob Martinka of Helena, MT; and his beloved Maltese dog, Boomer, who never left his side.
There will be a Remembrance at the Farley Funeral Home in Venice, FL on March 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm, followed by a small reception at the family home at 2286 Sonoma Drive, Nokomis, FL. Memorial Donations can be made to The Patrick Swayze Pancreas Cancer Research Fund, PO Box 20466, Stanford, CA 94309. To share a memory visit


Funeral Home

Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory
265 South Nokomis Avenue Venice, FL 34285
(941) 474-3291

Published in Herald Tribune from Mar. 20 to Mar. 21, 2014