Final Journey: Clarence Martin, Bahnsturmer
From the Des Moines Register 10/7/09:
Clarence "Marty" Ruel Martin, 73, of Ames passed away peacefully Sunday October 4, 2009 at his home. Clarence was born March 13, 1936 in Tellico Plains, TN. He was the third son of Elbert and Ina Kirkland Martin. He left Tennessee at the age of 15, and shortly thereafter he entered the US Army (1954-1956).
After leaving the Army, Clarence became a welder. He traveled the United States on various jobs from 1956 until he eventually made his way to Ames in 1959 with his older brother, Fred, to help build the water tower at the National Animal Disease Lab. In 1959, he started Martin Machine Welding Works in Ames. This business began his life long journey as a successful entrepreneur and businessman. In 1959, he started Industrial Plating, a successful chrome plating business. Later, he began another business, Custom Steel Service, a metal fabrication company. He was still operating both companies at the time of his death. He married Sharron Vogtlin of Gilbert on September 2, 1962.
In his own unique way, Clarence was an artist. He pursued somewhat eccentric projects, such as making a 41ÔÇÖ replica of a pitchfork and converting a railroad caboose, which he named the Freedom Train, into his personal office. At the time of his death, he was making a 6ÔÇÖ gold-plated ear of corn. He was a traveler and adventurer. Throughout his life, he hiked large segments of the Appalachian Trail often alone. He was a pilot, hunter, fisherman and collector of BMW motorcycles. Most of all, he loved the mountains, streams and people of east Tennessee and in his heart never left there. He loved the annual spring "Martin Ramp Tramp" and spending time with his brothers, sisters and other family members in the mountains around Tellico Plains.
Clarence is survived by his wife, Sharron; his three daughters, Jennifer Adler (Don), Ankeny; Holly Bevan, Ankeny; Paula Martin, Urbandale; his son Marcus Martin (Paula), Boulder, CO; and, his six grandchildren, Jacob and Julia Adler; Jackson, Henry and Charles Martin; and Andrew Bevan. He is also survived by his sisters, Lavern Hensley and Zandra Martin; and by his brothers, Carl (Sherry); Johnny, Larry (Mary) and J.W. (Linda) Martin. Clarence was preceded in death by his parents; and his brother, Fred.
Services will be on Thursday, October 8, at 2 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ames. The visitation will be on Wednesday, October 7, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul. Burial will be at Ames Municipal Cemetery with Military Rites by American Legion Post #37.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to St. Paul Lutheran Church, Beloit ChildrenÔÇÖs Home, or the Boys and Girls Club.
Clarence was a longtime member of the Bahnsturmer MC. He was an avid rider, rally goer, vintage enthusiast and generous in all things. His hulking frame, broad smile, smooth southern drawl and dry wit were welcome things to all that crossed his path.
Via con Dios, old friend.
RIP Clarence. May we all have such a fulfilling life.