February 23, 1924 - January 1, 2021
Fort Worth, Texas - Nicholas Martin, loving and beloved family patriarch, business entrepreneur, philanthropist, and kind friend died on January 1, 2021. A resident of Fort Worth, he was 96.
Mr. Martin, who was known by Nick to his friends and family, lived the American dream. He always considered himself lucky to have been born in the United States and to be blessed with the opportunities that this country afforded him. He had a fantastic sense of humor and treated everyone with kindness and respect. He was a true friend to everyone he met and a force for good and source of help to those who needed it most in his community. He was a successful businessman, real estate entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He valued hard work and believed in opportunity for everyone. He always fought for the underdog. He believed that everyone should lead a purposeful life, dedicated to their family and contributing to the health and well-being of their community.
Mr. Martin was born Feb. 23, 1924 and grew up in Birmingham, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. As a child, he was athletic and loved to play ice hockey and football. Mr. Martin served his country in the U.S. Army at a pivotal time during World War II. He served in European combat as a sergeant in the 94th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army.
He returned home after the war and graduated from Denison University in Granville, Ohio. After graduating from college, Mr. Martin went to work in the wholesale lumber business with his father at Dealers Wholesale Supply.
In 1969, Mr. Martin joined others to create Robintech, a Fort Worth-based plastic piping company. In 1974, Mr. Martin also became a part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball franchise.
In 1977, he married his wife, Louella ("Lou") Martin and moved to Fort Worth. Nick and Lou were happily married for 43 years.
After selling his share of Robintech in 1979, Mr. Martin founded Master Shield, a vinyl siding company, which he sold in 1985. Beginning in 1988, Mr. Martin worked in numerous real estate ventures developing real estate in Texas, Michigan, and Kansas City.
Mr. Martin was an avid golfer and longtime member of Shady Oaks Country Club and Orchard Lake Country Club. He also developed Waterchase Golf Club in Fort Worth.
While he was a successful businessman and entrepreneur with business relationships throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Japan, Mr. Martin made perhaps his biggest mark on the Fort Worth community as a philanthropist and volunteer. He felt he had been blessed with a fruitful life and that he had a responsibility to give back to the community that had afforded him so much. To that end, he formed the Nicholas and Louella Martin Fund, which is associated with the North Texas Community Foundation to provide support to worthy causes.
Mr. Martin also provided scholarships to sixteen deserving underprivileged students to attend All Saints Episcopal School. Many of these students have gone on to attend leading colleges and universities and distinguished careers. Mr. Martin's impact on the lives of these students has been significant and will endure.
He worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs in both Detroit and Fort Worth for many years, and his philanthropic work touched Denison University, Fort Worth Country Day School, All Saints Episcopal School, Baylor All Saints Hospital, the North Texas Community Foundation, Cook Children's Health Care System, Fort Worth Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth Symphony, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, and Texas Wesleyan University. He received an honorary doctorate degree from Texas Wesleyan University in 2003.
Mr. Martin's faith sustained him throughout his life. He was raised in the Episcopal Church and he and his wife, Lou, were longtime members of First United Methodist Church. He endeavored to express his Christian faith by meeting the needs of his community and helping those around him succeed. Nick and Lou have been blessed with many friends in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and Fort Worth, Texas, as well as friends they have met during their extensive travels.
The joy of Mr. Martin's life was his family. He was a dedicated family man, always available to provide wise counsel and support to anyone who asked. He loved family trips and vacations. He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Louella Martin; his daughters, Cynthia Martin Adams and husband John, Christine Ellen Kraatz, and Barbara Martin; his son, Kirk Martin and wife Kathy; his stepdaughters, Julie Parker McBride, and Cynthia Parker Macdonald and husband Bob; and his stepson, David Parker and wife Nancy.
Mr. Martin especially enjoyed being a Grandpa and nothing brought him more joy than spending time with his 19 grandchildren and step grandchildren: Michelle Ferris, Heather Minor, Kelly Katz, Melissa Adams, Cory Akers, Nick K. Martin, Lindsay Jaffa, Jonathan Martin, Barron Parker, Baker Parker, Ben Parker, Natalie Campbell, Richard McBride, Georgeanna McBride, Isabelle McBride, Alexei Zimmer, Rob Macdonald, Catie Macdonald, and Patrick Macdonald. He is also survived by 13 great grandchildren.
Graveside: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, for the public at Greenwood Memorial Park. A private family service will be held prior to the graveside.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest gifts to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Tarrant County. 3218 East Belknap Street Fort Worth, Texas 76111 and Jewel Charity Inc., 3301 Hamilton Ave. #121, Fort Worth, Texas 76107