Justin M. E Martin
1948 - 2020
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For a man who spent a large portion of his life looking through a microscope, conversely Justin Martin could always be relied upon to see the big picture. That picture could be boiled down to three main things: family, friends, and, a thirst for learning.

Justin Myles Elliott Martin (MB B.Ch FRCPC) was born in Dudley, England on November 8, 1948, the son of Dr. Justin Martin of Sligo Ireland and Jean Martin (nee Elliott) of Belfast, N. Ireland. Only a few months later Justin Sr. died following an operation and Jean was made a widow for the second time in her life, having lost her first husband in action during World War II. Following that, the family consisting of Justin and older sisters Caroline and Sarah, moved to Belfast.

Much to the pride of his mother, Justin took after his father and was accepted into medical school and graduated from Queens University Belfast in 1974. Further medical studies took him to Zambia in 1976 and it was in Zambia that he met Helen. After six weeks of dating they got engaged on their first trip together to the Luangwa Valley National Park. The following year they returned to Dublin where they got married and then a week later left the Irish shores for Calgary where he and Helen embraced the Canadian lifestyle of skiing and camping. In 1987 the family moved west to Victoria where Justin and Helen established a base in Oak Bay that is still as strong today as then.

In 1994 Justin took advantage of an opportunity to practice medicine in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, specifically at the King Faisal Hospital. Over 8 years he built up a large number of expatriate friends and an equal number of stories. Highlights included access to the uniqueness of the desert environment especially along the Hejaz Railway and the Empty Quarter in Saudi Arabia.

During his time overseas Justin found a love of running and on returning to Victoria in 2002 he developed this even further with membership in the Human Powered Racing triathlon team. Justin used triathlon as a way to meet people, keep healthy, and travel. Highlights included completing the IRONMAN in Penticton in 2009 and representing Canada in New Zealand for ITU World Championships in 2012. On a smaller scale Justin also loved the community aspect of racing and enjoyed in later years seeing his grandchildren take part in the annual Victoria Thanksgiving kids race.

A voracious reader, Justin’s reading reflected who he was. He could be found at the kitchen table reading anything and everything from the London Review of Books to the New York Times to a Scandinavian crime novel. His love of learning is a gift that he has passed on to many.

Justin died from myelodysplastic syndrome in Victoria, British Columbia on 12th March, 2020 and is survived by his wife Helen, his children Gillian and Ben, his son-in-law Chris, and his three granddaughters, Isla, Maeve, and Emmaline, as well as his sister Caroline and brother-in-law Dale. A celebration of Justin's life will be held in Victoria and further celebrations in Ireland later this year. For those interested in making a donation please do so to Community Social Planning Council of Victoria.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Times Colonist from Mar. 17 to Mar. 19, 2020.
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21 entries
May 18, 2020
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Patricia Sanders
April 17, 2020
Helen , warmest thoughts are with you and your Family .

Wishing you the comfort of knowing that we are keeping you in our thoughts at this very sad time .

We will cherish so many memories , the songs , the dancing , the long rides , races and laughs .

Our hearts are broken .

Warmest regards

Noreen and Glen
April 12, 2020
Very sorry for your loss, Helen,,especially at this awful time in
The world

Take care, stay safe

Bart Cullen, ireland, ( friend of James Brady )
Bart Cullen
March 31, 2020
Helen, I am so sorry for your loss, I just can't imagine what you are going through now.
I have put off contributing to Justins memorial until now, because there is so much to say, but , in the end, I thought a picture would best convey my feelings.
This was at the 2009 medical reunion in Vancouver, and Justin was taking a bow after a stirling solo rendition of " the ugly duckling
Rest in peace my friend
Mike and Marian"
mike marian Watt
March 31, 2020
another fine rendition of "the ugly duckling "
mike Watt
March 31, 2020
mike Watt
March 24, 2020
I have had the good fortune and pleasure to have known Justin
as a dear friend since our student days in Belfast in the late 60's., and subsequently in Zambia, Stanford, Canada, back in Ireland and at many Reunions. I have many happy memories of warm, erudite and humorous late nights in the City Hospital bar. Justin and Helen's hospitality was second to none whenever I stayed with them.

I also recall joyous times at his wedding to Helen and latterly the wedding of Gillian and Chris.
We have fond memories of our recent catch up in Stratford upon Avon.
Patricia, John, Laura and I wish to convey our deepest sympathy to Helen, Gillian, Ben and the extended family.
Seamus Brady
March 20, 2020
We had many good times in Riyadh with Justin Helen and the kids! Also visited them in Victoria when we lived in Vancouver. He was a wonderful man husband Father and friend - always lots of fun . Our thoughts and love are with you Helen Ben Gillian and family !
Jane and John Powe
March 19, 2020
Great guy, wonderful sense of humour and wise.
His enthusiasm for cycling was inspiring.
Deepest sympathies
John Galbraith
March 19, 2020
Our condolences to you Helen for the loss of a partner so engaged in life. I recall first meeting Justin in the tenor section of the Victoria Choral Society in the 90's. He was always in good humour and interested in others. All our love.
Andy and Andrea Swan
March 18, 2020
Our deepest sympathy for your loss. I enjoyed working with Justin at KFSH and spent many coffee breaks discussing an unlimited range of topics. Justin always had a quick smile and wit about him that will be dearly missed.
Peter Krahn
March 18, 2020
Dear Helen,
Kristina and I are so sad to hear about Justin while coming to grips with his absence. Our thought are with you and Caroline and your family. We will always value the times we have spent with him. Our boys were talking about his warmth, kindness and humor during our few visits.
with love,
Gerard Martin
March 18, 2020
Dear Helen,
We are so sorry to hear of Justin's passing.
Our thoughts are with you,
Mark and Fay Stewart
Fay Stewart
March 18, 2020
I send my deepest condolences to Helen and family. This was a completely unexpected turn of events. I picture Justin on his bike tearing down Cadboro Bay Road to the Jubilee with his all-weather gear on. A good antidote for hours of microscopy! Always was a pleasure to see him in the lab to discuss cases, and life. We enjoyed their generous hospitality in Riyadh 2000. He was proud of his beautiful family!
Ken Wilson MD, BC Cancer
March 17, 2020
Justin was a fine man, with a great sense of humour. I admired his integrity and his compassion. We all shared many laughs at tea at work. His musical whistling echoing down our halls is still remembered years after he retired. My deepest sympathies, Helen.
Cheryl Wright
March 17, 2020
I have known Justin for 2 years, not that long but he always made me feel like I was a friend. He knew how to pay attention to others. Many say he was one of the kindest person they knew...I know why! A gentle soul.
Dominic Bergeron
March 17, 2020
So very sorry to hear that Justin has died Helen.
We have great memories of meeting him with Ben and Gillian in years past down at Willows Beach combing.
God bless you.
Tomas and Eileen
March 16, 2020
A role model for all of us. We'll all miss him.
John Jacques
March 16, 2020
Such a great man and friend. Deepest condolences Helen, Gillian (Chris) and Ben. Thinking of you during this difficult time.
March 16, 2020
2014 bike ride
I only met Justin three times as I recall, first time in 2014. I feel fortunate to have known him and to have ridden a bike with him, which I knew he loved doing. A very engaging man and very knowledgeable. Able to converse on most any topic. I know he will be missed by his family and everyone that knew him. Every time we loose people like this the world is a little less well off.
Steve Hansen
March 15, 2020
2014 bike ride
Steve Hansen
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