Vernon J Martin (Vern / VJ) of West Bend, WI was welcomed into Heaven on July 24, 2022 at 87 years old.
He was born at home in West Bend to Emma and Joseph Martin, and he called the city of West Bend home his entire life.
After high school, he enlisted in the Air Force and served stateside at several different bases between May 1954 and May 1958 as an Aircraft Electronic Navigation Equipment Technician. He was a specialist in C-124 radar systems, and he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant before completing his service with an honorable discharge.
A lifelong trombone player, he joined the Hartford City Band in nearby Hartford WI after the service. There, he met his future wife, Rose. They married in September 1964, and they remained together for almost 57 years until she passed away in July 2021. He enjoyed the weekly practices and regular performances in concerts and parades with the band for more than 50 years.
He had a long career as a master painter, with a widely known reputation as having a keen eye for color and finish. He was often sought by name for his expertise. A serious workplace accident in January 1997 brought early retirement.
He was also an accomplished carpenter, and built all manner of cabinetry and furniture for the family home. He had a large collection of hand tools, and he especially enjoyed building and restoring unique pieces for family and friends.
He loved to travel, and he enjoyed meeting people, learning their stories, and sampling the local cuisine. He was always ready for a trip to someplace interesting, from history museum to national park to space shuttle launch, and everything in between. Summer picnics with family, friends, fun, and food a plenty were a particular favorite, especially horseshoes and desserts.
His immediate family extends our sincere gratitude to the team at his residential care facility for their compassion, dedication, and professionalism.
He was preceded in death by his father Joseph Martin, mother Emma Martin nee Fischer, father-in-law Karl Dietenberger, mother-in-law Cleo Dietenberger nee Rockweiler, sister-in-law Sue Martin (husband Allan), brother David Martin (wife Elmyra), dear son Matthew, and beloved wife Rose.
He is survived by five siblings: Allan Martin (Oshkosh WI), Joanne Weddig (Oshkosh WI - husband Tom), Kay Frank (Denver CO - husband Roger), Susan Bruesch (West Bend WI - husband Ted), Jacquie Hall (West Bend WI - husband Dennis); six children: Michael Martin (Indianapolis IN), Mary Jones (West Bend WI - husband David), Margaret Martin (Cincinnati OH - husband Gary), Monica Pampuch (Whitehall WI - husband Brad), Mark Martin-Kriha (Oshkosh WI - wife Sarah), Marie Flanagan (Minneapolis MN - husband Greg); and seven wonderful grandchildren: Carl, Hope, Emma, Maggie, Porter, Atlas and Isla.
We are comforted by our memories of his many joys in life, and we rejoice as he takes his place at the eternal banquet.
Visitation will be Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at the Phillip Funeral Home Chapel (1420 W. Paradise Dr. West Bend, WI 53095) from 4:00PM until 7:00PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at 11:00AM at Holy Angels Catholic Church (138 N 8th Ave. West Bend, WI 53095) with Fr. Howard Haase presiding with Military Honors to follow.
Vernon had a passion for things that were built well. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Habitat For Humanity or the charity of your choice are appreciated.