Robert Lawrence Martin obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Robert Lawrence Martin

August 9, 1948 - June 10, 2017

Obituary


Music is the thread that stitched Bob's life together. It started as a hopeful melody in WWII Germany. A young woman named Ilka was a German teenager who refused to join the Hitler Youth. She was confined to a concentration camp. After she was released, she fell in love with an American soldier and she became pregnant. The soldier was called back to the United Stated. After pressure and interference from his family, he did no send for Ilka. She gave birth to Bob in the little town of Kelsterbach, Germany creating a quiet duet...

Music is the thread that stitched Bob's life together. It started as a hopeful melody in WWII Germany. A young woman named Ilka was a German teenager who refused to join the Hitler Youth. She was confined to a concentration camp. After she was released, she fell in love with an American soldier and she became pregnant. The soldier was called back to the United Stated. After pressure and interference from his family, he did no send for Ilka. She gave birth to Bob in the little town of Kelsterbach, Germany creating a quiet duet in a ruined city. After sleeping on fire station floors and eating out of garbage cans, Ilka decided that Bob's best chance for a future involved adoption. He was adopted by Richard and Eola Martin. Richard was stationed with the US Air Force in Germany where he and Eola lived for several years. While they were there they decided to adopt a child. That child would be Bob and his name and life were forever changed. He was now Bob Martin. His new parents brought Bob to the United States when he was four. Bob would enjoy a childhood in Denver where he attended school. It was here that his love for music was sparked. He joined band in fourth grade, learning the clarinet and playing the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Music became his second life and created an even larger family. Throughout school, he practiced and played in concert, marching, and jazz bands. In high school Bob earned the rank of drum major and led the band in many performances. While Bob was in high school he met a young lady from Price, Utah who was on her way to St. Louis, Missouri to join a convent and become a nun. Her name was Violet Feichko. Being at the convent for only a short while Violet decided that a religious vocation was not her calling and a relationship of letters and a few special meetings between Bob and Violet would alter both their lives. One of the highlights that would forever entwine their hearts was kindled when Bob went to Price, Utah and attended a Junior Prom with Violet. Unfortunately the distance between time and space became an obstacle their relationship would not withstand and they went their separate ways. Bob was attending College in Grand Junction. It was at this point in time Bob met and married Connie Leffel. Through their union there would be born three wonderful children Scott, Todd, and Heather. Their childhood was filled with memories of Bob playing guitar, singing Pooh Corner and taking them for rides on his motorcycle. Scott saw Bob as being like James Bond with a penchant for fast cars, planes, and boating. Bob and Connie would move to Farmington, New Mexico where Bob worked in the field of Respiratory Therapy but remained dedicated to music. He became involved with a university in Farmington where he was the music director for the production of, Jesus Christ Superstar. This would be one of Bob's proudest and most fond memories in his music career. Bob and Connie decided to end their marriage and go separate ways in life. Bob continued working in the Respiratory Therapy field where he met Kathy McCulloch. They moved to Grand Junction, Colorado and were married. Unexpectedly, Ilka, Bob's birth Mother found and contacted him. They were able to reunite and exchanged many letters and memories. This meant a great deal to Bob. Through his love of music and his Catholic faith, Bob became involved in choir. With his great instrumental talent on the guitar and beautiful singing voice Bob served his church. Bob's joy would be expanded through the birth of three more children. Chris, Kim, and Carli were born to Bob and Kathy. Their childhood was full of lullabies and laughter. He taught them to fish, with flies of course. He strove to meet the needs of his children, whether that was coaching soccer or attending school events. Those moments brought love and joy to Bob and his children for years. As his children grew and became involved in band in middle and high school, Bob too rediscovered his passion for music education. He began volunteering with the high school bands. Bob would continue volunteering and will be greatly missed by all four high schools. Bob's life would once again take a new direction after he and Kathy decided that divorce was in everyone's best interest. After the separation, Bob took the opportunity to reconnect with Scott, Todd, Heather, and grandsons Blake and Tristan. He was particularly enchanted to find a shared love of guitar with his grandson, Blake. They were able to 'jam' together on one of Bob's trips. In May of 2015, Bob fulfilled his dream of returning to his place of birth, Germany. His daughter, Kim, was fortunate enough to go with him on his journey as he found his birth certificate and explore what might have been. Bob discovered he enjoyed reconnecting with his past and decided to attend his 50th high school class reunion. His path to find the details of his class reunion would take him to the computer site of classmates .com. It was there that he found several messages left by the girl he had met 49 years earlier. They were messages from Violet, his high school sweetheart. Bob called Violet and they made a date for dinner. That dinner led to a reuniting of the couple. They found a love that is uncommon in strength and fulfillment in life. They would become engaged and spend eight monumental months together. On June 1, 2017 Bob found he had a particularly strong type of cancer. He was given a prognosis of approximately two weeks to live. Since it had taken fifty-two years to find each other and this love they were married June 5, 2017 in the hospital. Violet took Bob home where he wanted to spend his last days. He died June 10, 2017. Bob's last year was one of love and fulfillment. He played in Centennial Band, Jazz Band and made a CD of a combination of music he loved. He reached his original goal in life of working with high school students in music, band, and jazz band. Bob volunteered in all 4 area high schools in the valley. Bob fulfilled many of his primary goals in life and was surrounded by the love of his friends, family, students, band mates, music and wife.