From staff and wire reports
October 25, 2012 at 10:03 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Thomas George Martin went home to his Lord Saturday, Oct. 13 after a brief illness. He was born in Virginia, Minn. and spent his childhood in St. Paul.

After one year at the University of Minnesota, he joined the Army Air Corps Reserve. Called to active duty in 1943, Tom served 34 months. As a 2nd Lt., he was a pilot instructor in light training planes and was trained as a twin engine pilot. He was assigned to be a co-pilot on an amphibian rescue plane and was seriously injured in a training accident, leaving him hospitalized for six months. Home on a medical leave, he met Ardene Swenson, whom he always referred to as the love of his life. They were married Sept. 13, 1947 when he completed his education at the University of Minnesotta, graduating with a Bachelorís degree of distinction in Electrical Engineering.He accepted a job with Shell Oil Company and moved to Norco, where he and his bride lived for 19 years. They were blessed with the birth of four children who is survived by - Janis Brady, Claudia Goldberg, James Martin and Betsy Martin. He is also survived by six grandchildren, all of whom live in California.

Tom worked for Shell at a variety of engineering, design and operating supervisory jobs, including the position of Project Engineer. For the last six years of his career, he was the Utilities Design Specialist for Shell Manufacturing. In retirement, Tom spent 12 years as a docent at the NASA Space Center and as a preparer for the AARP tax program. In his leisure time he mastered basketry and spent years studying the biographies of US Presidents. He had a lifelong love of travel, taking the entire family on yearly road trips throughout the United States. After the children left home, Tom and Ardene expanded their adventures to far away places, including a trip to the Galapagos Islands to celebrate his 70th birthday.

Tom and his wife, Ardene, have been active members of the Webster Presbyterian Church since 1977. A Memorial Service was held at Webster Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Tomís name to the Webster Presbyterian Church, 201 West NASA Parkway, Webster, TX 77598.

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