David E. Martin, 82, of Manteo, NC, and formerly of Warren, PA, died Thursday, January 30, 2014 at the John and Orpha Blair Hospice Residence in Warren.
David was born on June 14, 1931 in Brooklyn, NY, the son of Earl A. and Ruth (Lewis) Martin. He was a graduate of Rockville Centre High School, Rockville Centre, NY, and Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ. In addition to earning his engineering degree at Stevens, he served as the president of his fraternity Delta Tau Delta and was a decorated athlete. He was a two time Honorable Mention All American, cocaptain and earned three letters as a member of the Lacrosse team. He also earned three letters in soccer and played on the freshman and Junior Varsity basketball teams. As a senior, he won the Gear and Triangle Best Athlete Award and the John A. Davis Award given to the student that best exemplified the qualities of Loyalty and Sportsmanship.
Following graduation he was employed at Westinghouse Electric Company in Philadelphia and then entered Officers Candidate School at Newport, RI. His first assigned duty station was the Special Weapons Program of the Navy which was atomic weapons. The school was in Albuquerque, NM with further training at Norfolk, VA. He was then assigned to a unit that went aboard the USS Forrestal, CVA59, with further training at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
After completing his naval service, David was employed with Foster Wheeler and lived in Wilkes Barre, PA, then Staten Island and Dansville, NY. From there he accepted a position with Struthers Wells Corporation in Gulfport, MS, and lived in Pass Christian, MS.
He moved to Warren in 1967 to continue his work with Struthers Wells. He later worked for National Forge Company in Warren and Erie and then Allegheny Valve/Allegheny Coupling Company. In 2003, he retired to North Carolina leaving in Warren a legacy of excellence in leadership and community service. He held leadership positions on the Warren County Literacy Council, Allegheny Alive, Warren/ Forest Hi Ed Council, Hospice of Warren County, Volunteer Involvement Council, Warren Rotary Club with its involvement with the 4H Program, Warren Senior Center, Mental Health Association, Healthy Community/ Healthy Youth, Warren Regional Partnership, Leadership Warren, Council of Governments, WGH Crescent Park Health and Dental Clinic Development Committee, United Fund of Warren County, RSVP, Warren County Development Association, Chamber of Commerce/Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry. He was a recipient of the Chamber's Community Service Award in 2002. He, along with WGH, brought to Warren the state of the art cardio vascular screening program, Dare to C.A.R.E, the program created by his son Dr. John D. Martin of Annapolis, MD. This life changing and life saving program has benefitted hundreds of Warren County citizens. Also of great benefit to all of Warren County and beyond are the programs and projects that received financial support from the DeFrees Family Memorial Fund Committee, of which David served as Chairman until the time of his death. Indeed, Warren County has been made better by David's having lived and worked here.
He continued his volunteer commitment in Manteo where he shared his passion for scuba diving by volunteering regularly at the North Carolina Aquarium, completing 298 dives and was honored as Volunteer Diver of the Year. His love of gardening led him to the Elizabethan Gardens in the Fort Raleigh National Park where he was-along with his son Richard-in charge of the Rose Garden. He was considered an inspiration to volunteers of both organizations as well as by their management teams. Such a difference he made to his Manteo Community as well as his Warren Community.
David's pride of, commitment to, and love of his communities was surpassed only by his love of his family and friends. He is survived by two sons: Dr. Richard J. Martin and wife Sandy of Manteo, NC; Dr. John D. Martin and fiance Kelly Brown of Annapolis, MD; daughter Sue Martin and her partner, Linda Bolan of Woodstock, GA, and four grandchildren Sam and his wife Anna, Zachary, Ashley and Alexandra. He is also survived by his sister Anita and her husband Ralph Stutzman of Seneca, SC, sistersinlaw Priscilla Martin of Sussex, WI and Grace Kerr of Indiana, PA and their children.
In addition to his parents, David was preceded in death by his wife Joanne McWilliams Martin whom he married on July 17, 1955, and who died on May 5, 2010. He was also preceded in death by his brother William Martin.
During the last years of his life, he shared a joyous and loving relationship with Elsa Redding of Warren, PA., who was by his side at the time of his death. Special friends include Bob Sokolski, Hal Conarro, Joel Gaden, Jerry Lockwood, Herman Grishaver, Nan Cashman, Lynn Espin and all of the paddle team players with whom he shared years of expert and fun competition, as well as Bob Crowley, Howard Ferguson, Christine Cataldo, Pat Evans, Barb Tubbs, Ron Young, John and Pat Carlson, Dr. Keith Price, and JR Latona, his dive master.
A great man, who defined his virtue by his actions and unwavering belief that honesty was always the right approach, no matter how painful that may be. Selfless and softspoken, he let his deeds and others speak of him rather than himself. The word "I" seemed to be left out of his vocabulary. He made a real difference not only in the communities he lived but in the lives he touched. Business, health, education and social programs all felt his gentle hand and Lincolnesque leadership. It is impossible to find anyone who would say anything other than a positive word about him, yet if you had asked him to reveal his deeds he would struggle to recount them. Not because he did not remember but because his humility prevented him from accurately reflecting the role he played.
A life lesson David shared in a Lasting Legacy Initiative was from a quotation by Calvin Coolidge that hung in his daughter Sue's kitchen. In David's words, "The sum and substance of it is: there is nothing like perseverance. And nothing beats perseverance and I think that's a great, great thing. And that's what I would advise everybody. Persevere. You don't have to be super smart. You don't have to be anything else. You just have to keep trying. That would be my advice."
A Celebration of Life to honor David E. Martin will be held at the Conewango Club on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. The community is warmly invited to attend. Memorials in David's honor may be made to Hospice of Warren County, P.O. Box 68, Warren, PA. 16365. Email condolences may be sent by visiting www. lewisfuneral homeinc.com. The Donald E. Lewis Funeral Home, Inc. has been entrusted with final arrangements.