Mr. John Landon Martin, passed away on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 in Bradenton, FL at the age of 83.
John is survived by his wife, Barbara Ann Strunk Martin, of Bradenton, FL, his son and daughter-in-law, John William (Billy) and Susan Martin of Mooresville, NC, their children Andrew and Alissa Martin, his daughter and son-in-law, Shawn and Beth Martin Macauley of Grand Rapids, MI, their children Erin Macauley Smith of Melbourne, FL, and Emily, Evan, Ethan, and Eli Macauley of Grand Rapids, MI, and his brother, Olin G. Martin, of West Lafayette, IN. John is preceded in death by his parents, Rex Riley and Elsie Kurtz Martin of Metropolis, IL, his brother, Aaron J. Martin of Houston, TX, and infant siblings Mildred and Wesley of Washington, IL.
John was born on October 9, 1936 in Eureka, IL to Rex Riley and Elsie Phoebe Kurtz Martin of Washington, IL. He graduated from Washington Community High School in Washington, IL in 1954 and from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, with a B.S. in Agriculture in 1959, specializing in plant science. John served in the US Army from 1959 to 1961 achieving the rank of PFC. John was very proud of his service to the US as his father, Rex Martin, was a veteran of WW I. John was stationed across Europe and was on active duty in Germany during the Berlin Crisis. After spending the next few years in the Army Reserves, John was honorably discharged in 1965. John began working as a processed foods inspector in 1961.
John met Barbara Ann Strunk on a blind date in November 1962 in Morton, IL where John worked at Libby’s pumpkin processing plant. John and Barbara were married on December 29, 1963 at First United Methodist Church, Morton, IL. They moved to Sanford, FL for their honeymoon where John worked at the LH Hunt Processing Plant. Their daughter, Beth Lynn, was born on December 9, 1965, in Sanford, FL. John began working for the United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) as a processed foods inspector in 1965. The family moved to DeLand, FL in 1968 when John was assigned to Ardmore Farms. Their son, John William (Billy), was born on June 8, 1969 in DeLand, FL. In 1972, the family moved to Port St. Lucie, FL when John was assigned to TreeSweet in Ft. Pierce, FL. John’s final move was to Bradenton, FL in 1988, when he was assigned to Tropicana. John retired in 1998 after over 37 years of government service. It is important to note that the USDA offered John many opportunities for advancement that were turned down because of the negative impact on his time with family.
John was an avid gardener, like his father, Rex. John loved his plants and flowers in the yard and could grow anything, even orchids. He enjoyed playing baseball in the front yard with his family, fishing for mullet with cane poles in the backyard on the St. Lucie River, following his favorite sports teams, and spending time with his grandchildren. He was an avid sportsman and enjoyed playing baseball and going fishing throughout his life. He enjoyed working out at the gym, playing racquetball and golf with friends, and talking on his radio. John was an Amateur Radio Operator, WB4KYB, for over 55 years. John was active in all activities up until his death.
John was very proud to be a 33rd degree Master Mason and was a member of Ft. Pierce Lodge #87. He was also a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States and the American Legion. John and his wife Barbara were charter members of both Braden River United Methodist Church in Bradenton, FL and Harvest United Methodist Church in Lakewood Ranch, FL.
John was a quiet man with great integrity and high intelligence. He preferred one on one interactions rather than larger crowds. He lived by example and was very proud to be a veteran. He had the utmost respect for the United States and its flag. John helped organize two successful petitions to return the flag to its rightful place in the sanctuary of local churches.
Most importantly, John was deeply devoted to his wife, Barbara, to whom he was married for 56 years, his children John (Billy) and Beth, and his grandchildren, Andrew & Alissa Martin and Emily, Evan, Ethan, & Eli Macauley, and Erin Macauley Smith. He had a wonderful time celebrating Erin’s wedding to Patrick Smith on January 19, 2020 with family before his unexpected passing two days later. This was a blessing for everyone.
Per John’s wishes, his body will be cremated. An interment, with honors, at the National Cemetery in Sarasota, FL is scheduled for Monday, June 8, 2020 at 10:30am with a reception to follow, location TBD. Rev. W. Scott Weichl, Chaplain, LTC (Ret.) US Army, and former pastor of Braden River UMC will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate John's life.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the charity of your choice in John’s name. Please share condolences, photos, and memories of John below. We encourage everyone to write about and post photos of John as cherished memories for his wife, children, grandchildren, and friends.
The family would like to thank Linda Rehder, Mike Mayer, and Sharon Kottke, neighbors, and Sandra Pettrucci from Harvest UMC, for their help immediately following John’s death. Thank you also to everyone else who has shared flowers, food, cards, and phone calls. Your thoughts, love, and care are all greatly appreciated.
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