Gail William Martin, age 96, a longtime resident of Elk, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.
He was born Dec. 26, 1915, in Ekalaka, Mont., to Fred and Delia Martin, The fifth oldest of eight children, he had four sisters, Violet, Ruth, Ora and Annadene and three brothers, Harold, Max and Lyal.
Gail graduated from West Valley High School and married Hazel Andrus on Aug. 6, 1936. They brought their only daughter into the world on June 24, 1937.
From 1936-46 he worked doing various jobs skidding logs, working in a pole yard and saw mill. He also cut cordwood and could cut a cord of wood a day (by hand). In 1946 they rented the 3 Star Ranch and began a Grade “A” Dairy. In 1954 they purchased the farm on Regal Road and proudly owned their own Grade “A” dairy.
For 70-plus years his place of residence was in and around Elk.
A volunteer with the Pend Oreille Fair for 20-plus years, a horse barn is dedicated in honor of him.
He participated in many parades and gymkhanas. He was a member of the Panorama Pony Club for several years, which included driving ponies in covered wagons to Plains Mont., the Omak Stampede and Kootenai County Fair.
Gail helped start Pend Oreille County Fire District No. 1.
In 1972 the dairy federation chose the Martins as the South Inland Empire Dairy Family of the Year.
Gail was a member of the Riverside School Board, County ASCS Committee and Grange Supply Board.
He was a charter member of Edgemere Grange in Vay, Idaho. He joined the Freeman Lake Grange near Oldtown, Idaho, in 1944 and demitted to Fertile Valley Grange in Elk in 1948. He was a member of the Subordinate, Pomona, State and National granges.
At Fertile Valley Grange he held the offices of master, overseer, lecturer, secretary, assistant steward, steward, reporter and executive committeeman. He was the Pend Oreille County Pomona Grange Master from 1960-65 and later held the office of lecturer.
He was appointed the deputy master for Pend Oreille County by Washington State Grange Master, A. Lars Nelson, in 1970 and served until 1983.
He performed in the County, District and State Grange talent contests for several years. Degree Captain for 4th and 5th degrees for many years. He also competed in many singing competitions.
In 1968 they entered the family talent contest and won the state competition, which lead them to the national contest in Peoria, Ill.
He is survived by his wife, Lucile; a brother, Lyal (Loretta) of Clarkston, Wash.; a sister, Annadene White of Denver; a daughter, Lois A. Cummins of Elk; a granddaughter, Sherry A. (Dennis) Cummins of Elk; a grandson, James W. (Sharon) Cummins of Elk; great-grandson and great-great-grandchildren, David Rice and Madison and Mason of Medical Lake; great-grandson, wife and great-great-grandchildren James R. (Christy) Cummins and Colton and Corbyn, of Havre, Mont.; great-grandson Jared M. (Christine) Cummins of Honolulu, Hawaii; and great-grandson Jacob R. Cummins of Elk.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Hazel Martin; two brothers, Harold and Max Martin; three sisters, Violet Hafer, Ruth Johnson and Ora Boehme; and beloved son-in-law, Jim M. Cummins.
Thank you to Peaceful Valley Church, Fertile Valley Grange, Avalon Care Center staff, his faithful friends. Laurie, Lisa, Viola and his best gal friend, Gail.
Memorial donations can be made to Fertile Valley Grange.
To Sum it up – Hard Working Farmer – True Spiritual Believer.