Our beloved father and WWII veteran, Maxwell Forrest Martin, left this world as bravely and honorably as he lived his life, at 11:30 pm, on January 18, 2018. He passed peacefully with his children by his bedside. He was 92 years old.
Max grew up in Star City, West Virginia, and raised six children with the love of his life, Leah Norma O’Baker Storey Martin, in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, Newark, Ohio and Perrysburg, Ohio. Max Martin was a member of the Odd Fellows Order, a Boy Scout leader, and a leader and lifelong member of the Methodist Church. He retired after a 40-year career as the Terminal/Regional Manager with the B&O and Chessie System railroads in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and then he and Leah spent the next 30+ years wintering in Florida and travelling to New York, Kansas, Arizona, and California to visit family. In 2011, Max and Leah moved to San Diego, California to be closer to their children in their later years.
Our father was a soldier in battle as well as in life. Upon completing high school, at age 17, Max left his home town in West Virginia to serve in WWII. While serving he was wounded twice, but each time returned to the front lines. Max Martin was in Company C of the 405th Infantry Regiment, 102nd (Ozark) Division from 1944-1946, was awarded a Purple Heart, and received numerous other medals and awards, including the Combat Infantryman Badge, Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal (Germany), European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal. Max and his three brothers, Richard, Lewis and Allison, all served in WWII, and all returned safely home.
Max was our beloved father but also a revered and cherished grandfather, great-grandpa, uncle, great- uncle and friend to all who crossed his path. Describing Max, or Uncle Forrest, family and friends have used words such as “kind, ” “generous,” “stoic,” “brave,” “role model,” “family legacy,” “fun,” witty,” “gentleman,” and “greatest generation.” He was the photographer and documentarist of the family. The children, cousins, and grandchildren loved to see the movies that he filmed at numerous family events. Max was an avid reader, a recreational pilot, and a lifelong railroader; he had a kind smile and a quick wit, and always organized family games. Max was described by his nieces and nephews as the “fun uncle” and the uncle who was a father to everyone, as he took a keen, loving, and mentoring interest in each child, grandchild, great-grandchild, niece, nephew and great-niece and nephew. Special cards with motivating messages were received by each on birthdays, weddings, and graduations. One family tradition that Max enjoyed was receiving a T-shirt or sweatshirt printed with the alma maters of the colleges that his children, grandchildren, and nieces/nephews attended. He wore them proudly when family visited. Max was known as the cookie monster of the family and he loved the baked goods that were peppered upon him at family visits. His favorites were peach pie and white cake with white frosting. Leah and Max also loved their daily visits to McDonald’s and became icons at various Mac’s along the route to their winter home in Melbourne Florida. Max was deeply devoted to Leah’s care during her long stint with Alzheimer’s, and after she passed, he developed friendships with a new community at McDonald’s in San Diego, including many fellow veterans.
Max Martin’s most cherished roles were the deep love and dedication he expressed to his wife of 64 years, Leah O’Baker Storey Martin, as well as to his six children and their families: Barry David Storey (Nancy), Noel Storey Heinbach (Roy), Carey Storey Greer; Mark Lane Martin (Janis), Elizabeth Martin Cotterill (Dave), Emily Martin Walters (Seth); Gordon Luther Martin, Maxwell Scott Martin (Steve); Jackie Martin-Klement, Leah Elise Klement (Colm Mac Donncha), Kathryn Grace Klement; Allison Lee Martin, John Johnson (Kris), Kim Johnson Bean (Todd), Mistee Mendoza, Scott Martin (Erin), and Nicholas Martin. Max also is survived by 16 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, as well as great-nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his adoring wife, Leah O’Baker Storey Martin; his father and mother, Warren and Grace (Higgins) Martin; his brothers Allison, Richard, and Lewis Martin; and his sister Maxine Martin Hildebrand.
For those of you reading this know that he loved each of you, cared for each of you, and that you hold a special place in his heart, as he will now and forever in our hearts.
Rest in peace Dad, Grandpa, Uncle Max, Uncle Forrest. The world is already a lesser place without you. ♡ Forever loved. Forever missed.
The ashes of Max and Leah will be laid to rest simultaneously at the Jenners Crossroads Cemetary, Somerset County, Pennsylvania. There will be a memorial service to honor Max’s life at Hopewell Methodist Church in Hollsopple, PA 15935, June 2018. More details to follow.
Donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Research. https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=5909
and to the Disabled American Vets Trust: https://cst.dav.org/donate/DonateNow.aspx
Judith Garcia on January 31, 2018