Jeffrey Robert Martin, 66, died at his home on Saturday after a defiant and courageous years-long battle with cancer. Jeff was born on January 27, 1953 in Racine, Wisconsin, where he enjoyed an idyllic, baby boom-era upbringing. He spent the days of his youth playing street frisbee with his buddies and brother, Jim, in front of the family home on Thor Avenue and flaunting his mad academic skills at Park High School.
Much to Jeff’s chagrin, he did spend one unfortunate year attempting to master the accordion his parents purchased from a door-to-door salesman, which became the stuff of family lore and fodder for many jokes in the years to come. After high school, Jeff followed in the footsteps of his parents, Peg and Bob, attending and graduating from Ripon College, where he met his future wife, partied with the Merriman House Fraternity and focused his studies on history and political science, ultimately graduating at the top of his class. Jeff married the love of his life, Mary, on a balmy August day in 1975, and they spent the next 44 years making a home in Delafield, Wisconsin. Jeff enjoyed a long career in sales, and when his three children were young, Jeff spent his time coaching youth soccer and basketball teams and timing at high school track meets. In his free time, Jeff enjoyed cultivating a beautiful rose garden at his home, filling the bellies of his family and friends with his home-cooked meals and treating his neighbors to his annual Fourth of July fireworks show. In his later years, Jeff’s greatest and most-treasured role undoubtedly was that of “Poppie” to his three grandchildren, who were a constant source of joy and pride. Jeff will be remembered for his calm demeanor, cherubic smile and red hair.
Jeff is survived by his beloved wife, Mary, his children, Erin (Andy) Warmus, Andrew (Jenny Najduch) and Bryce (Fiance Liz Chollet), his grandchildren, Kenzie, Callan and Anzolette, and his cherished sister, Jane Fox. Jeff is further survived by his sister-in-law Kathie and nephews Matthew and Patrick along with other relatives and friends. Jeff was preceded in death by his parents Bob and Peg Martin, his brother, Jim, and his brother-in-law Gary Fox.
Services will be held at Zion Episcopal Church, 135 Rockwell Street, Oconomowoc, on Tuesday at 11 a.m. with a visitation for family and friends starting at 10 a.m. Memorials are suggested in Jeff’s honor to Zion Episcopal Church or to Delafield Arts Foundation (In care of Town Bank 400 Genesee St. Delafield, WI 53018).
Please send condolences to Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home.