Willian “Bill” John Martin, 91, of Culver, passed away at Pilgrim Manor on Sept. 12, 2019.
Mr. Martin was born in Mishawaka on July 4, 1928, the son of Kenneth and Fern (Barrows) Martin. He graduated from Mishawaka High School, Class of 1945. He met Mary Ann Burkett in 1948 at the Highway Diner in Mishawaka, where she was a waitress.
Some friends that he knew told him there was a very pretty girl working at the Diner so he went to check it out. After a few visits to the Diner, Mary Ann told Bill if he would give her a ride home to Ora, she would get blind dates for him and his friends. When they got to Ora, Mary Ann has three blind dates for Bill’s friends. He asked where his date was and she said “it’s me!”
Mary Ann always told us the first time Bill walked into the Diner she told a friend that she was going to marry that guy.
They were married June 25, 1950, a love that lasted a lifetime and beyond.
The Martin’s moved their family from Mishawaka to Culver in 1965. He built the family home in Mishawaka and the home in Culver. He was a great carpenter and could fix anything. He worked for Indiana Bell Telephone Company for 40 years, retiring in 1990 He was also a Culver Union Township Voluntary Firefighter for 25 years. He was an active member for many years in the Culver Lions Club and the Culver Eagles. He also faithfully attended the Mishawaka High School Alumni lunches and the Telephone Pioneers of America breakfasts. For many years Bill and Mary Ann became part of the American Dream Tour family.
He was an usher for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football teams. He ushered for 41 years and received a lifetime pass to the Notre Dame Football games upon retirement. He took his daughters, nephews, and grandchildren to many Notre Dame games. He moved to farm life in Culver after his retirement and kept an acre garden of vegetables and beautiful flowers.
Bill Martin leaves behind three daughters: Debra Martin, Chicago, Ill.; Glenda (Larry) Pachniak, Warsaw; and Brenda (Steve) Harper, Plymouth; two grandchildren: Addison (Adi-Marie) Harper, Jasper; and Lindsey (Mikey) Pauley, Jonesville, Va.; and four great-grandchildren: Adeline and William Harper, Jasper; and Jaylyn and Gannon Pauley, Jonesville, Va.
He was preceded in death by the love of his life, Mary Ann (Burkett) Martin in 2015; daughter Tina Martin in 1973; his parents; four brothers: Chester “Al” Martin, Kenneth Martin, Eugene Martin and Richard “Dick” Martin; and one sister: Donnabelle Matz.
A time of visitation with the family will be held at the Odom Funeral Home, Culver, from 4-7 p.m., Sunday Sept. 22. Funeral services will follow at 2 p.m., Monday, Sept. 23, with one hour of visitation prior to the service at Odom Funeral Home. Burial will be in Culver Masonic Cemetery.
Memorials may be given in Bill’s name to the Culver Union Township Fire Department.