Jay Robert Martin of Grand Island completed his earthly journey after a devastating fall while celebrating Thanksgiving with family. He passed away on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Martha (McDonald) Martin, sons Bradley (Susan) of Chadds Ford, Pa.; Craig (Karin) of Manassas, Va.; and Kent (Karen) of Westminster, Md.; and grandchildren Colin, Kyle, Breanne, Kirstin, Madison and Nathan. He is also survived by siblings Janet, Julia, Jerald (Betty) Martin, Jean (Carl) Dickerson, Jason (Leora) Martin, Joan (Paul) Nolt, as well as several nieces and nephews.
The son of Chester and Valera (Lehman) Martin, he was born and grew up near Shippensburg, Pa., graduated from Chambersburg High School in 1952 and, after working for a couple of years, attended and graduated from Lehigh University in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering. As a senior, he was inducted into Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society for Integrity and Excellence in Engineering for students of distinguished scholarship and exemplary character. His first job after graduation was at the Linde Division of Union Carbide in Tonawanda, a job from which he retired 33 years later as Praxair director of research and development. He also earned a master's degree in chemical engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
His family was the most important part of his life, and Martin was happiest surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren. For 43 years, while the boys were growing up, and later with their families, most recently in 2011, Jay and Martha spent a week camping at a beautiful lake in Canada. In retirement, they enjoyed traveling, usually to, or with, family throughout the United States. Martin had carefully planned a family trip to Alaska in the summer of 2012.
Jay and Martha were 45-year members of Trinity United Methodist Church, and Jay spent many hours volunteering in various positions, including chairman of the Finance Committee and as financial secretary. For several years he also served on the board of directors for Beechwood Continuing Care Homes and completed a term as treasurer.
The family wishes to offer a special "Thank you" to the doctors, nurses and staff of the spinal trauma unit at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, for the exemplary medical and compassionate care Martin received after his untimely fall. We are also grateful to the many friends, near and far, who have visited, phoned, cooked, prayed and cared.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, where Jay and Martha have been 45-year members, 2100 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island. In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for gifts in Jay's memory to the Endowment Fund of Trinity UMC, Grand Island.