James (Jim) Darrell Martin
January 28, 1931 ~ February 24, 2020
Born in Glendale, California to Darrell Ellis Martin and Christina Ellen Hoover Martin. He grew up in Ventura, California where he attended Ventura High School and Ventura Jr. College where he actively participated in basketball and football with the nickname of Crusher.
In 1951, Jim’s Jr. College was State Champions for football and basketball. His longest run in football was 16 yards for a touchdown. His coach said, “I need to find the guy chasing you because we need more runs like that.” He was an avid sports spectator throughout his life.
After school he joined the U.S. Navy. During a leave from the Navy, he met Esther Ruth McMillan. They were married in June 1953 in Ventura and began their large family. Other than a few years working as an Air Traffic Controller in New Mexico, they lived in Ventura and Ojai. Ojai was their home for 40 years. Jim & Esther raised 9 kids in Ojai and developed lifelong friendships.
In 1960, they were introduced to and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They were strong active members of the church for the rest of their lives.
Jim will long be remembered for his service, his love for others, and his sense of humor. He had a joke for everyone and for everyday He found happiness in making people laugh. Jim loved eating the fruits and veggies that Esther loved to grow in her gardens. His love for ice cream is known the world over. Hundreds can attest to the Sunday evenings with ‘The Wonderful World of Disney’ and a heaping bowl of ice cream.
In the early 2000’s, Jim and Esther moved to Santa Clara, Utah where their circle of friends and loved ones grew. In 2003, they served a mission for the LDS church in the Georgia North Atlanta Mission.
Jim was perhaps at his happiest with and talking about his 32 grandkids and about 40 great-grandkids. He always smiled at the idea of becoming a guardian angel for his great-granddaughter, Bailey.
A wish he expressed in his last weeks was that others have a similar loving relationship with our Heavenly Father as deep and meaningful as he had.
He insisted that he was Esther’s copilot for 65 years. He had many great experiences with Esther.
Special thanks to Rabecca Juarez (granddaughter) who spent Jim’s final hours and minutes by his side. Also, thanks to Leilani and Daniel Hafoka and all who cared for him.
Jim is preceded in death by his beautiful wife Esther and their first born son Darrell Ellis Martin.
Survived by children Ellen (Noeli “Nick” Cooper), Jeff (Wendy), Chuck (Kathrine), Micah, John (Lisa), Betsy, Donna (Rhod Campbell), Andrew (Santhi), 32 grandkids and about 40 great-grandkids who will miss him dearly.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 11:00am at the LDS Church located at 3815 Rachel Drive, Santa Clara, UT 84765. A viewing will be from 9:00-10:30am prior to services at the same location. Interment will be in the Santa Clara Cemetery.