Larry Martin
Larry Dean Martin Larry Martin, 61, of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away Friday, January 25, 2019. He is survived by his wife of thirty years, Rebecca, and daughter, Cricket, as well as his brother George Martin (Lani) of Franklin, Kentucky, his sisters Susan Brown (Terry) of Mobile, Alabama, and Debbie Butterfield (Kenny) of Kidder, Missouri, plus numerous nieces, nephews, and other loving family members who will miss him greatly. He was preceded in death by his parents George and Mary Martin, and his beloved Border Collie, Jenny. Mr. Martin was a graduate of North Kansas City High School and of UMKC, where he took two Bachelor's degrees and a Master's. He taught second grade at Belinder Elementary School for almost 30 years. He left a positive stamp on many lives thanks to his gentle kindness, sharp intellect, good humor, creativity, patience and gracious perseverance. He created The Marvel News, a fortnightly printed newspaper, editions of which were conceived, executed, sold and delivered by his pupils, Martin's Marvels. The seven- and eight-year-olds published hand-illustrated articles, book reviews, puzzles and jokes, but the real treat was always the feature interview. Over the years, cub reporters landed Q&A sessions with President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Barbara Bush, Alex Trebek, Dave Barry, and many other inspiring figures. Mr. Martin wanted more than anything to teach each child that he or she was a marvel with enormous potential who should dream big. At the end of every school year, he gave each student a keepsake, having drawn caricatures of each, showing them as adults living their dreams, working in their dream professions under the banner "Follow Your Dreams!" A lifelong Jeopardy! enthusiast, Mr. Martin was the grand-prize winner of the 2018 Jeopardy! Teachers' Tournament. As a bonus, the program invited him to do a caricature of host Alex Trebek living his dream life as a handyman, under the banner "Follow Your Dreams, Alex!" Celebration of Life service will take place on Saturday, May 18 at 3:00 pm at Belinder Elementary School, 7230 Belinder Avenue, Prairie Village, KS 66208. For more information, go to https://belinder.smsd.org/. Share condolences and remembrances: https://polandthompson.com/ Donations in lieu of flowers will help support The Marvel News into the future. Donate at GoFundMe https://www.gofundme.com/larry-martin-memorial, or make checks payable to Rebecca Bell (Larry Martin Memorial in the memo), c/o Shawnee Mission Post, PO Box 8005, Prairie Village, KS 66208.
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Published by Kansas City Star on May 15, 2019.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
May
18
Celebration of Life
3:00p.m.
Belinder Elementary School
7230 Belinder Avenue, Prairie Village, Kansas
Funeral services provided by:
Poland-Thompson Funeral Home
GUEST BOOK
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I have been a Jeopardy fan for decades and I have a small handful of favorite contestants and Larry was certainly high among them.How lucky his students must have been to have someone as sharp and gracious as Larry teach them. I heard today on Jeopardy that Larry won't be part of the Tournament of Champions bc he passes away. What horrible news! His loved ones should know that his genuine fabulousness came through even in the limited time we watched him. Please know that the Jeopardy family's warmest thoughts and deepest prayers are with him and his loved ones and that he is sorely and most definitely missed in the tournament of champions, which is where he should be! God speed Larry!
Holly Avesta
November 6, 2019
Our thoughts and prayers are with Rebecca, Cricket and all of the family. Larry was a great guy and will be missed.

Love, Randy and Denise Scott
Denise Scott
May 15, 2019
I had the pleasure of having my daughter McKenzie in Larry's very first class at Belinder. From the moment you met Larry and he started teaching, you knew how much he cared about every single child in his classroom. As parents we all felt extremely lucky that our children were in his classroom. Those 2nd graders came home each day with huge smiles and you could watch daily as their confidence grew.
Larry's second year my daughter Mallory had the pleasure of getting to follow in her sisters footsteps and enjoy the Martin classroom. She has kept that caricature that Mr. Martin gave her all these years. He meant the world to so many children that walked through his doors. Every day in his classroom was filled with joy, laughter, learning and molding the minds of those precious little 2nd graders; his spirit was infectious. There is always that one special teacher in your life that you remember for always and the one that changed your life forever. That was Larry Martin. I only wish I could be there to celebrate his incredible life well lived. Over the years, I have returned to say hello and he would always make time to reflect back on those first few years and how special it was. He will be greatly missed and my thoughts are with Rebecca, Cricket and his entire family.
Dana Mahoney
May 15, 2019