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Dr. W. Don Martin

December 5, 1934 July 16, 2016
Dr. W. Don Martin
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Obituary for Dr. W. Don Martin

Dr. W. “Don” Martin, 81, of Albuquerque, NM, formerly of Vinton, died peacefully on July 16, 2016, in his home in Albuquerque. Don was born in Gladbrook, Iowa, on December 5, 1934, the son of Dr. Walter Debs Martin and Alice B. Martin. Don grew up and attended school in Vinton. As a young man, Don was a gymnast who entertained audiences doing front somersaults over pianos. Dr. Martin earned a Bachelor’s Degree, a Master’s Degree, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, and was an English teacher at Vinton High School, where students remember him as a much beloved teacher. He was also a professor of English Education at Syracuse University and an administrator for the Mason City School District. He was a long-time member of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Vinton. He was an amateur actor, performing from time to time at the Garrison Old Creamery Theater. He was a long-time member of the Isaac Walton league. During the past 15 years, Don has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, near his only daughter, Nathalie Martin, and his son-in-law, Stewart Paley.
In addition to Nathalie and Stewart, he is survived by his two sisters, Dr. Patricia (Martin) Floyd of Vinton and Barbara (Martin) Kamman of Chico, California, as well as his loving dog, Skylar, who helped make life worth living until the very end. He remained on very good terms with his first wife, JoAnn Martin, of Riverside, California, until his death. Also surviving are close Albuquerque friends Mako Linnehan, Mike Donovan, and Betty Hulebak. Don is remembered as a dog lover and a man who never stopped teaching and learning. Above all else, he is remembered as a devoted father.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 22, 2016, at Wesley United Methodist Church in Vinton with Rev. Sue Thomas officiating. Interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Vinton. Friends may call at Van Steenhuyse-Russell Funeral Home in Vinton from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 21.
Donations in Don’s honor can be made to Lap Dog Rescue of New Mexico, P.O. Box 1316, Tijeras, NM 87059.

Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

21

Jul

5:00 PM 7/21/2016 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 7/21/2016 7:00:00 PM
Van Steenhuyse Funeral Home

1212 1st Avenue
Vinton, IA 52349

Van Steenhuyse Funeral Home
1212 1st Avenue Vinton 52349 IA
United States

Service

Friday

22

Jul

10:30 AM 7/22/2016 10:30:00 AM
Wesley United Methodist Church

516 2nd Avenue
Vinton, IA 52349

Wesley United Methodist Church
516 2nd Avenue Vinton 52349 IA
United States

Memorial Contribution

Lap Dog Rescue of New Mexico

P.O. Box 1316
Tijeras, NM 87059
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