James Melvin Martin was born July 7, 1928, in Rockport, Missouri to Charles and Iva (Baker) Martin.
Jim married Delores George on December 18, 1953. They made their home at Blanchard, both working in Shenandoah for a few years. Jim was in the National Guard, from 1949 to 1955, then joined the Air Force, where he served as a mechanic on B52s in northern Maine at Loring AFB for 4 years, beginning in 1956. He then served in the Air Guard for 21 more years. In 1960, their first son Dan was born before they returned to Blanchard, and in 1965 their second son, Kevin was born in Clarinda.
After the service Jim farmed and then drove a semi-truck. He worked very hard to provide for his family, yet he never let that get in the way of him spending time and building memories with his family. He enjoyed flying and had a commercial license to fly airplanes and helicopters. Jim was a member of the Tarkio Valley Antique Tractor Association.
Jim and Delores enjoyed camping. They traveled numerous parts of the country with their camping trailer in tow and camped at local parks and often did both with family or friends. Jim was very active in the Blanchard United Methodist Church. When a local newspaper doing a series of articles about local veterans, did an article on Jim in 2012, he was asked what he considered most important in life. His reply was simply, “The Bible and belief in Jesus Christ.”
Jim was preceded in death by his wife Delores, his parents, his six brothers, Clifton, Willis, Duane, Dean, Glenn, Ray, and his sister, Phyllis Craven.
Jim is survived by his children, Dan (Janice) Martin, Kevin (Laura) Martin, and grandchildren, Patrick and Emma.