Bob Martin, age 88, passed away in the presence of family at the home of his son Bob Martin Jr. and daughter-in-law, Marilyn on Haynie Rd. in Blaine on the morning of May 4, 2014. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor only a few months earlier. He was cared for lovingly by family with assistance from Hospice.
Robert was born February 3, 1926 to Reba Fay and Daniel Martin in Oregon. At age 7 he lost his father to a logging accident
in Oregon leaving his mother a widow, with 3 children (Bob, Pat, Yvonne) to raise on her own. Fay moved her children north to the Blaine area on Shintaffer Rd. and the children attended school at Birch Bay. Fay later remarried to Stefan Sigurdson whose family had emigrated from Iceland, during the hard years to Canada, then to Blaine.
Starting out on fishing boats in his late teens, Bob became a cannery tender Captain in his very early twenties working mostly around Kodiak Island, Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound for about 40 seasons, for the Alaska Packers, Whitney Fidalgo and other companies.
Bob married Dorothy (Phyllis) from Canada and bought an old house with acreage on Giles Rd. outside Blaine, which they turned into a self-sustaining homestead with gardens, fruit trees and various domestic animals. They had 2 children, Bob and Diane.
Cultivating fruit trees was a passion for Bob. He collected and grafted specimens of many heirloom and obscure varieties. A visit to his home invariably included a tour of the orchard, samples of the fruits and stories to accompany each one. It was not unusual for him to stop at abandoned homesteads to procure cuttings from trees that he had observed fruit in the season before – always in search of the perfect apple or pear. Bob never tired of eating homemade apple pies and jams made from the berries that grew in the region.
Bob was a woodsman and mountain man with a pioneer spirit. He loved the outdoors and spent his time hunting, fishing, woodcutting and taking pictures of wildlife and of his adventures in Alaska. He kept his family supplied with meat and fish and was generous to share the bounty with folks in need of food, firewood and advice. Bob was strong, practical, fierce and loyal, ingeniously resourceful and wise, and kind to family, friends and strangers.
Bob was recently preceded in death by his brother Pat Martin, and is survived by his sister Yvonne Rothwell, son Bob Stefan (wife Marilyn), daughter Diane Martin Allen; beloved grandchildren Molly Grace Martin, Eddy Daniel Martin, Amanda Grace Allen and great granddaughter Emma Grace Martin.
Bob’s ashes will be placed in the Haynie Cemetery in Custer, WA. The family would like to invite friends to join them for a casual gathering at Berthusen Park, Lynden (red Bldg.) on Sunday, May 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. for food, music and memories.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Hospice of Whatcom County or Haynie Helping Hands, 3333 McGee Rd, Custer, 98240.