KEWANEE – Robert S. “Bob” Martin, 87, of Kewanee, passed away quietly at 5:20 p.m., Friday, February 28, 2020.
He was born May 25, 1932 in Clay Center, KS, the son of George and Idabelle (Lee) Martin. He married Dorus E. Popovich, the love of his life on June 6, 1971 in Kewanee and she preceded him in death on May 16, 2009. Survivors include two sons, Ronald Charles Martin and Robert Wesley Martin, two step-daughters, Rhonda (Ralph) Howland of Springfield, IL and Doreen (Kert) Huber of Dunlap, IL and several grandchildren and great grandchildren; including Erikka Claerhout of Elmwood, IL, Jayme Howland of Ankeny, IA and Kathy Calvert of LaGrange Park, IL. He was also preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Lester H. Martin and two sisters, Vera Smith and Dixie Srna.
He served his country in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and served from 1951-55 in Air Squadrons VF721 and VF141. After being discharged he returned to Salina, KS and eventually moved to Kewanee. He worked for GTE until he retired in 1993.
Bob was very proud of his military service and was active in local military organizations. He was a Gold Legacy Life Member and past Commander of VFW Post #8078. He was a member of the VFW color guard and had posted the “Colors” at Kewanee High School football games for 50 years and basketball games for 37 years and in 2018 was honored by being designated an “Honorary Boilermaker” for his service. He was also a member of the American Legion Post #31 and the Kewanee Veterans Council Honor Guard. He served at hundreds of military funerals and volunteered by placing American Flags on the veteran’s graves at cemeteries for Memorial Day.
He was a dedicated volunteer at Windmont Park for Christmas lighting, serving from 1993 until December of 2019 and also cooked pork chops for Hog Days since 1968. He was an avid golfer and played every day (weather permitting) with his friends at Baker Park. He often was the top player in his age group and was thrilled to get a “hole in one”.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, March 5 at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee. Pastor Kevin Drane will officiate. Visitation will be held from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the services at the funeral home. Burial will be in Pleasant View Cemetery where military rites will be accorded by the Kewanee Veterans Council. Memorials may be directed to VFW Post #8078, Kewanee Veterans Council, or to the Windmont Park Christmas Lighting Fund.
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