Hawthorne Funeral Home and Memorial Park
1825 E. College Way
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
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1917 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
Benjamin Gerald Martin was born to Marie Polly Martin and Rollin Guy Martin on October 10, 1917 in White Sulpher Springs Montana, the 5th of 6 children. Soon after the Martin Family moved to Emmett, Idaho where they lived until Ben was 11 years old. The next move was to Mount Vernon, Washington. Ben attended schools in Mount Vernon and graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1936. He played as many sports as possible in high school and played basketball at Mount Vernon Junior College. He attended Washington State College in Pullman studying pharmacy and making many life long friends.

Ben was a loyal and patriotic American all of his life, never taking peace and freedom for granted. He was called upon to demonstrate his love of the USA as a young man. During World War II Ben joined the Navy (1942). He was soon transferred to the First Marine Aviation Division and sent to Guadalcanal, Henderson Field, attached to Major Joe Foss' fighter squadron. As a medic and chief pharmacist mate he spent much of the war treating soldiers and airmen injured in air attacks. He was awarded the Silver Star in 1943 for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action". Ben returned to Mount Vernon to recover from Malaria and near starvation for a year before he received orders to return to the Pacific War Theater. Feeling blessed for surviving years in combat and proud of the USA, he flew the American Flag at every opportunity.

Ben married Marion Lindbloom, daughter of Amanda Hanson Lindbloom and the late John Lindbloom on June 6, 1943 between his deployments to the South Pacific. Ben and Marion had been friends, tennis partners, and sweethearts since the sixth grade. They were married for 63 years until her death in 2006.

After the war Ben returned to Mount Vernon. He owned and operated several businesses including a Mobile gas station, a Lincoln Mercury dealership, and Ben Martin Realty. He began working for Bellingham Federal Savings, in the home loan department in 1969, retiring in 1982 from Horizon Bank.

Ben and Marion were faithful members of Salem Lutheran Church for many years Ben's interest in real estate extended to the building of the new church on Hoag Road, a source of great pride. He thoroughly enjoyed the friendship and spiritual guidance Pastor Kevin Forquer. One of the last conversations of his life was sharing the story of the apple tree he grafted for Forquer's yard.

Ben had a life-long interest in sports. He coached and sponsored Little League teams long before and after his son, Jerry, played. He was a loyal fan of the Mount Vernon Bulldogs and Washington Huskies, not missing a Husky home football game for 40 years. Ben and Marion were early members of the Skagit Golf and Country Club. They loved golf and the friends they made at the golf course. Ben was also an early member of the Mount Vernon Elks Club and always looked forward to dinner and dancing at the Elks with friends and family.

A family centered man Ben remained close to his parents, brother and sisters throughout their lives, dearly loving them. He looked for opportunities to help the family in any way. He was a caring husband and father, actively involved in all aspects of not only his own kid's lives, but also the lives of nieces, nephews and neighbors. Ben loved to barbeque salmon, especially for family picnics. The bigger the crowd and the bigger the fish the more he enjoyed it. He always had a large vegetable garden and several apple and pear trees with produce to share.

Ben and Marion moved to Creekside Retirement Center in Burlington in 2002. There they found old friends and made new. The family is grateful for quality of life they experienced there and for the exceptional care the staff provided as their lives came to a close.

Preceding Ben in death were his parents, Rollin Guy and Marie Polly Martin, and his wife, Marion Lindbloom Martin. Also preceding him were his sisters, Marjorie Parker, Doris Marshall, Alyce Stuart, Lucille Flowers; his brother, Glen Martin; and nephews, Mervyn Evans and Michael Monson.

He is survived by son, Jerry Martin (Gail Williams); grandson, Ben E. Martin; daughters, Gayle Hauntz; and granddaughter, Amy Wyman, Jean Champagne; and grandsons, Christian Champagne, Aaron Champagne (Melissa); and great-grandchildren, Genevieve and Gavin Champagne. Ben also loved and will be missed by many nieces and nephews and their children.

A memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Sunday, February 27, 2011 at Salem Lutheran Church, 2529 N. La Venture Rd., Mount Vernon, WA.

For those wanting to send a memorial, Salem Lutheran Church, Friendship House, or a charity of your choice are suggested.

Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, Mount Vernon, WA.
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