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James Garfield Martin III

Born: 10/8/1947, Beatrice, Nebraska
Death: 3/21/2018, Castle Valley, Utah
Service: 03/31/2018. 2:00 pm, Lions Park

Jim Martin was born on October 8, 1947 in Beatrice, Nebraska. His grandfather William Wildhaber was a physician and he attended Jimís birth. Jim was the first child of his mother, Gretchen Louise Wildhaber Martin, a homemaker. Jimís father was Jim Martin II, a World War II veteran, lawyer, and businessman.

Jim is survived by his partner, Becky Thomas; Sarah Martin and Suzan Maughan-Martin; daughters Andrea Martin and Megan Martin; son-in-law Mike Stock; grandsons Ravon Martin and Elijah Stock; nieces Olivia Anson, Lindsay Donahue, Emily Laning, and Alyssa Koestner; nephew Jim Anson; sisters Nancy Anson and Lisa Koestner, and mother Gretchen Martin.

Jim grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, Colorado--a trail leading up to them was only ľ mile from his front door and he spent his youth exploring them, as well as teasing his sisters and reading widely. He showed an early talent for art and took drawing and painting lessons from a young age. He spent his summers in Nebraska with his grandparents Willie and Louise. He went on house calls with Willie and also developed a love of farmland and farming there. He graduated from Boulder High School. Jim was a classically rebellious and transformation-seeking member of the flower child generation. He attended Mesa College in Grand Junction, Colorado where he met his first wife, Sarah Martin. They lived on Grand Mesa where Jim worked as a ski instructor at Powderhorn and he fished and hunted avidly. The couple enjoyed hiking and doing leathercraft together. They had a son, Colbran Martin, who died at birth. A year later they welcomed their daughter Megan Martin. The couple parted ways, but both resided in Moab, Utah. At the Moab Arts Festival, he met the little girl who would become his adopted daughter. Andrea saw Jim interacting with baby Megan and admired the loving care there. Andrea tugged on his shirt tail and asked him if he would be her Daddy. He laughed, she took his hand and brought him over to meet her mom, Suzan. Suzan worked at the Tea House Tamarisk and they slowly got to know each other. Two years after meeting, they started dating and later married. The couple loved to cook and travel. Over the years they built a house in breathtaking Castle Valley, Utah. Andrea shares his mechanical aptitude, and they spent many hours building and fixing things together. Megan loved walking, talking about books, and sketching with her father. Jim had many beloved dogs over the years and is survived by Ranger. Jim enjoyed witnessing his grandsons Ravon and Elijah explore adulthood and had hoped to do construction or farming projects with them.

Jim did a variety of jobs over the years, including ski instruction, river guiding, surveying, working at Rio Algom, and managing the famous Poplar Place. He had a real knack for welding and was one of the only certified pipe fitters in the area. Jim was highly respected in that field. He also managed his familyís farms in Nebraska and Kansas. He fell in love with excavation and enjoyed describing the arts of using a backhoe and dump truck. Through his company, Abajo Excavation, he created driveways and septic systems throughout SW Utah and the Telluride area. A road trip was never short on memories of roads he had traversed and houses he had worked on. Jim was a dreamer who had the adventurous spirit so common to those who settled the Mountain West, and over the years he explored projects like panning for gold in the Colorado Rockies, whitewater rafting, fly fishing, shooting, growing echinacea for tinctures, sailing, and deep sea fishing in Mexico. As one friend put it: he was larger than life in frame and enthusiasms. Jim was interested in economics and politics and had libertarian views. His passion for painting persisted, and he left a gorgeous array of Impressionist-inspired landscape oil paintings. He loved to travel, especially with friends, many of whom were lifelong. Jim passed away suddenly in his home in Castle Valley due to a cardiovascular event. He and Becky were enjoying their shared love of art and rockhounding in recent years. They were renovating their property in Bruneau, Idaho.

A memorial celebration of Jimís life will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 31st at Lions Park at the corner of Highway 128 and Highway 191. Friends are invited to attend and asked to bring a potluck beverage, appetizer, entree, or dessert. There is no alcohol and no dogs allowed at the park. Jim will be buried in Beatrice, Nebraska in the family plot at a later date.


My deepest condolence for the loss of Jim. I grew up with Annie and felt just as close to Jim. He was also a great friend of my parents as well. I used to get so excited when my office manager had a note on my desk that Jim called. I so loved talking with him in Florida if he had a question about a boat or just calling to say hi. What a great man! He made my day with every conversation! I had the utmost respect and love for Jim and will miss him dearly. I am so sorry I missed the service as I was out of town for a grandson's birthday party but know he and the family are in my thoughts.
- Donn DeVore

My deepest condolences on Jimís sudden death. He was wonderful company, such fun to be around. I will miss him.
- Cynthia Thewlis

We are truly saddened to hear that Jimmy has passed. We have very fond memories of many precious times we spent with him. We have great pictures and would like to send them to Andrea so she can share them with all the families. BLESS IT BE
- Buck and Joye Wheatley

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   For love itself lives on;

   Cherished memories never fade
   Because one loved is gone.

   Those we love can never be
   More than a thought apart;

   For as long as there’s a memory,
   They live on within our heart.

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