Gary Martin (1939 - 2015)

8 entries
  • "Gary was fun to work with and always had good thoughts..."
    - jeff hill
  • "He was my instructor at Vo-tech. Was a great teacher and..."
    - Becky Nelson
  • "Gary was my instructor at the vo tech. We became good..."
    - Jeff Katseanes
  • "I will miss the e-mails from mi com-padre. Bradley Hicks"
  • "RIP Gary!"
    - Debbie Burgess
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Gary Ralph Martin
July 10, 1939 - January 11, 2015
Gary Ralph Martin, 75, of Rigby (formerly of Boise), passed away in his sleep on January 11, 2015 at Good Samaritan Society - Idaho Falls Village.
Gary was born July 10, 1939 in Florence, Arizona to Ralph Henry Martin and Frances Louise Samuels Martin. When he was in high school, the family moved to Nampa, Idaho, where he graduated from high school. He married Carolyn Tabor in 1962 and they later divorced in 1978. They had three children together.
Gary was very proud of his military service. He began his service with the U.S. Army in 1957 as an infantryman in Baumholder, Germany with the 2nd Battle Group, in the 12th Infantry. He used to laugh that only the U.S. Army would give a 135 lb. man the heaviest rifle to carry, the notoriously heavy BAR. He had to carry this extremely heavy rifle and its tripod for the Company's .30 caliber machine gun. After he had his fill of marching and walking, he joined the Idaho Army National Guard and became a reconnaissance helicopter pilot. He retired after 26 years of military service. While working part-time with the Guard, he also worked in security positions with Boise Cascade and Morrison Knudsen. He obtained a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Boise State University in 1982. Thereafter, he was a devout Broncos fan.
Gary left the big city life of Boise and moved to eastern Idaho in 1986 for his dream job as a nuclear security instructor at the Eastern Idaho Vo-Tech School. He also served as a volunteer for the Madison County Sheriff's Dept. Gary enjoyed the outdoors and spending time horseback riding, camping, and exploring Idaho. He collected BLM maps and used his piloting skills to navigate and explore eastern Idaho.
In retirement, Gary lived out his days reading, raising horses, camping, pushing snow with his ATV, and wishing that Idaho Pizza would open a location in east Idaho. Not wanting to be called "Grandpa", he self-proclaimed himself "Poppagriz". The name took and stuck. His grandchildren all called him Poppagriz because of his grizzly demeanor. Each of them enjoyed a good razzing from "Griz".
Gary will be dearly missed. He leaves behind three children: Kristi Martin of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Michael (Deborah) Martin of Boise, Idaho, and Justin (Karma) Martin of Herriman, Utah; along with his grandchildren: Avalon, Amanda, Colton, Lance, and Jocelyn. He is also survived by his brother, Ronny Martin of Elmore City, Oklahoma, and his sister, Carol Smith of Lynnwood, Washington. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Louise Martin. It's exciting to think that he is having a great reunion with his father and mother and many family members who preceeded him. God love you "Poppagriz"...because we all did! In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Idaho Food Bank.
It was Gary's wish to be cremated and have his ashes scattered in his beloved mountains. His family will hold a celebration of his life later this summer, his most favorite time of year.
Arrangements are under the direction of Wood Funeral Home (273 N. Ridge) in Idaho Falls. Condolences may be sent to the family online at

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Wood Funeral Home
273 North Ridge Avenue
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
(208) 522-2751
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Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Jan. 16, 2015
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