Martin Temple

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  • "Rodney R.Lyon"
  • "As a fellow chorister of Martin's I just wanted to share..."
    - Chris Simmons
  • "Martin was a pillar for numerous organizations in town, and..."
    - Anna Hamre
  • "Kind thoughts are with your family at this very difficult..."
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James Martin Temple, Jr., husband, father, grandfather, avid choral singer and retired architect, passed away peacefully on February 6, 2019. He was known as Martin to the many family, friends and colleagues who touched his life of 84 years. Martin was born in Phoenix, where his father, James Martin Temple, Sr. (Jim) worked for J.C. Penney Co. Jim, a Missouri farm boy, had been sent to Arizona by the Penney Co., where he met and married Sarah Ellen (Sally) Hall of Prescott. When Martin was six months old, Jim was transferred to San Francisco, where the family spent the next five years. The Temple family arrived in Fresno in 1940, when Jim was selected to manage the Penney Co. store on Fulton Street. Martin attended grades K-12 in Fresno, graduating from Fresno High School in 1952. Martin met Bobbye Sisk, daughter of the late Congressman B.F. Sisk, at the Palm Avenue Church of Christ and they starting dating while in high school. After one year at Fresno State College, Martin transferred to the University of California, Berkeley in 1953 and entered the new 5-year Bachelor of Architecture program. Also in 1953, Bobbye graduated from Fresno State College with a degree in journalism. After marrying in 1955, Martin and Bobbye lived in Berkeley where Lisa and Eric were born. After Martin's graduation from Cal in 1958, they returned to Fresno where Gretchen and Karin were born, and he spent the rest of his life in the profession of architecture. Upon moving back to Fresno, Martin joined the architecture firm Walter Wagner & Partners. In 1970, Martin and Walter Wagner established the new firm Wagner-Temple Architects. After Wagner's death in 1982, the firm became Temple, Andersen, Moore, and in 2007 it evolved into TAM+CZ Architects. TAM+CZ continues to specialize in commercial and educational projects throughout the Central Valley. Martin retired from architecture in 2017 after almost 60 years. Many local landmark buildings and school facilities are a lasting legacy of his distinguished career. Classical choral music was Martin's passion. He sang with the Cal Glee Club and traveled with the group to Japan in 1957 for a performance tour. He began singing with the Fresno Community Chorus in 1959 and was on the Board of Directors or President of the FCC for over 45 years. Martin retired from FCC in 2012 due to a condition that made singing difficult, and the spring concert that year was dedicated to him. Martin found joy in sacred music, and his beautifully resonant bass/baritone voice was a fixture in the choir at the First Presbyterian Church of Fresno for decades. In addition, Martin was often asked to sing for weddings and funerals, and other special events. Martin was involved in and led many professional and community organizations including the San Joaquin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Army Advisory Board, Fresno Kiwanis Club, Fresno High School Senate Alumni Board, and Friends of the Fresno County Library including the Yes on Measure B Committee and a founder of the annual Dinner in the Library event. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of public radio station KVPR, and was instrumental in the station going on air over 40 years ago. Martin was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Bobbye Sisk Temple, in 2014. He is survived by their children Lisa Brott and her wife, Sheila Brookman, of Fresno; Eric Martin Temple and his wife, Gretchen Nicholas, of Olympia, Washington; Gretchen Temple Louden (and her late husband Jim) of Stockton; Karin Sisk Temple and her husband, Paul Deffebach, of Fresno, and their daughters Kate, Sarah and Anne; and his sister, Sally Temple Webb and her husband, Donald, of Santa Barbara. A Celebration of Life reception will be held March 1, 2019, 4-7 pm, at the Fig Garden Woman's Club, 4550 N. Van Ness Blvd. To honor Martin, contributions may be made to the Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale, P.O. Box 25505, Fresno, 93729.
Published in the Fresno Bee on Feb. 17, 2019
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