March 12, 1928 – December 31, 2015
We really thought you would never leave us. But now you’re gone and things will never be the same.
From your curly hair, to your infectious laugh, we will always remember your courage, your integrity, your love for your family, your dedication, the pride you felt for every student you knew, and your lust for life.
You taught us about devotion and love. You and mom would have been married 60 years this June. You never let us forget how important our family should be to us.
You taught us to learn about and appreciate nature including us in your weekend science field trips with your students when you were a teacher, hiking, camping, and summer picnics. You taught each of us kids to snow ski and then hauled us up to Mt. Baker almost every Sunday.
You taught us and the grandkids to cherish our time together with family dinners, picnics at the beach lots, swimming at The Glen, Sunday trips to Vancouver’s Stanley Park, Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, and kayaking in the kayaks you made for each of the grandchildren.
You taught us to have fun with family and friends. You were always excited when we went on vacation and encouraged us to balance work with time off, something you told us you wished you would have done more often.
You taught us to celebrate birthdays, graduations, and accomplishments with family dinners at The Golden Lion in White Rock, the Olive Garden and BBQ’s and potlucks in our homes.
You taught us to be generous, helping us with cars, educational expenses, and purchasing our own homes. We couldn’t have done some of these things without your help and encouragement. You volunteered your time and finances and helped others in need.
You taught not only us, but anyone who would listen, that a good education was important. No one was more excited than you whenever one of us went to school or back to school for additional education. You often reflected fondly on your years as an educator, making many life-long friends of students and teachers.
You were an example of how to be thrifty and encouraged us to do the same in our spending habits. You reminded and encouraged us to save for our retirement.
You taught us to be moral, responsible individuals, to honor our schools and community through your example of involvement in civic projects, hard work and leadership. If you could help, you did, regularly volunteering for all types of projects.
You showed us how we could enjoy our retirement, when the time comes, with your trips in the travel trailer to visit family in the east. You and mom also took trips with your brother Rich and his wife Jane to Canada, Nevada, and Oregon. You had a great time on monthly camping trips with the Whatcom Good Sam Camper club in which you were very involved.
You taught us to be brave and “roll with the punches”. We watched as you successfully battled cancer, not once but twice, and kept right on living and looking toward the future. When you suffered a cardiac arrest you fought through that too, then a pacemaker and defibrillator, and like the energizer bunny, you kept moving forward, always making plans for the next trip, house to be built, or family event to be planned. Never once did we hear you complain or have a “poor me” attitude. You always looked forward, with anticipation. Even in our last days together, you thought only of your family, never failing to tell us how much you appreciative our care and support.
It was an honor and a blessing for so many of us to be at your bedside as you passed from this world to the next. It was the last gift we could give each other. We love you dad, and we will miss you always.
Thank you for everything you did for each of us. Thank you for always being there for us. Thank you for who you were and how you helped shape each of us by your example. We are your legacy.
With love, Ann; Ginger, Mark, Joshua, Bri, Micah; Bill; Sandy, Jathan, Casey, Aurora, Bluelle, Tristian, Hannah, Ruxson, Brittin; David, Susanne, Nicole, Dayton.
A memorial service will be held January 24, 2016 at 3 p.m. at the Ferndale High School auditorium. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wesley D. Martinsen Dollars for Scholars scholarship.