Robert E. Martin, 90, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, April 6, 2019. His parents, George and Wanda Martin: and his wife, Royce preceded him in death. Robert or “Bob” as he was known by many had been a resident of New Mexico since 1957.
Bob was born on September 8, 1928 in Winslow, AZ. He grew up in Sapulpa, OK. He married the love of his life, Royce Jane Balch, in 1965 in Albuquerque. They would remain together for the next 49 years before Royce graduated from earth to Heaven in 2015. Bob is survived by two children, Roberta “Robyn” Martin Taylor, along with her husband Doug Taylor and grandchildren Aden Robert and Avery Jane Taylor; and son Robert “Chip” Martin, along with his wife Jaimie Carley Martin and grandchildren Connor Robert and Riley Jane Martin.
Over the years Bob attended Tulsa University, Park College, Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma where he would earn degrees that prepared him for his extensive career in several different fields, including military service. He joined the United States Air Force in 1950 where he would serve in both the enlisted and officer ranks. His military resume includes service as a Drill Instructor at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas from 1950-51, where he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. Bob completed Officers Training School at Lackland Air Force Base in December of 1951. Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, Bob would serve in the fields of Electronics and Weapons systems through August of 1953 when he was discharged.
After his exit from the Air Force, Bob returned to Oklahoma where he put his seasoned leadership skills to use in several fields. He managed an automotive body shop, became news editor and sports commentator at KGYN radio in Guymon, OK and even owned and operated his own café in Sapulpa. Later he would serve as a high school Social Studies teacher and coach of several sports in Sand Springs, OK. With his move to New Mexico, Bob would go on to hold senior executive positions with Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Sales over the next two decades.
In 1968 Bob was recalled to active duty where he served with the New Mexico Air National Guard at Kirtland Air Force Base. He would eventually rise to the rank of Brigadier General with the Guard before retiring from military service.
Throughout his life, Bob was always one to give of himself. As an Eagle Scout, he had a great love for the Boy Scouts of America and enjoyed telling of his experiences from 1941 to 1950 as a staff member at Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimarron, NM. He was proud to have been mentored by, and later become the ranch’s right-hand man for Waite Phillips, the philanthropist who donated the 120,000 acres that would comprise Philmont.
Bob also became the president elect of the Park College Alumni Association and served on the Park College Board of Trustees beginning in 1978. He was active in the Rotary Club of Albuquerque and served as its president for a term.
Bob was an avid golfer and during his later years, if not playing golf, would enjoy watching golf or one of his favorite western movies.
Bob lived a faithful Christian life and was active in his church community. He served on the New Mexico Baptist Foundation Board and was a member of First Baptist Church and eventually Del Norte Baptist Church. He would serve as Sunday school teacher and deacon through his late 80s.
Friends may visit Monday, April 22, 2019 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at FRENCH – Wyoming. Services will be held Tuesday, April 23, 2019, 10:00 a.m., at Del Norte Baptist Church, 5800 Montgomery Blvd. NE. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, to honor Bob’s memory, donations may be made to New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home or Philmont Scout Ranch.
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