Edwin Dale “Pete” Martin Jr, 82, of Plymouth, Indiana, departed this life on November 8, 2023, at his home in Plymouth surrounded by family and loved ones.
Born January 26, 1941, in Tyner, Indiana, he was the eldest of four children born to Edwin Dale Martin Sr. and Deveda Elenore (Kissinger) Martin. He is survived by his beloved partner of many years Vivian Jean Miser, who will miss him dearly.
He is also survived by his three children, Anthony Wayne Martin, Michele Rene Martin and partner, Thomas Alan Wiers, and Joshua James Martin and wife, Stefanie Raye (Crawford) Martin, his nine grandchildren – Kristen Marie, Caleb Dean, Tray Anthony, Dylan Thomas, Declan Martin, Danielle Marie, Delaney Belle, and Elodie Paige, four great grandchildren – Ryland Malik, Makenna Abree, Kian Brek, and Rooney Elle. He also maintained a relationship with his former stepchildren, Mindy M. (Milner) Collins and David J. Milner.
Pete is predeceased by his parents and siblings – brother, James Allen “Jiggs” Martin, sister, Sandra Lee (Martin) Cochran and her husband, Woodward Vern Cochran, and sister, Janice Kay (Martin) Burch and her husband, Ernest Duane Burch.
Pete grew up in Tyner working on his parents’ farm where he developed his deep appreciation of hard work. His work ethic served him well in school where he excelled at both academics and athletics. Before graduating from Tyner High School in 1959, Pete had earned varsity spots in baseball for four years and basketball for three. After high school, he worked for Studebaker in South Bend for one year, and then was hired by NIPSCO where he started as a lineman and ended his thirty-eight-year career there in a supervisory position. His love of sports never wavered in his adult years, and he continued to pursue his passions by playing in the Plymouth area independent sport league on both slow pitch softball and basketball teams. When he stopped playing, he poured that passion into Indiana University basketball. Pete might have been a race car driver in another life because he attended countless races locally and even travelled to many NASCAR events with friends and his son Anthony. Pete was also an avid hunter and made many great memories with friends out in Iowa and the Dakotas where they hunted pheasant and quail.
Pete was rarely idle and put significant time and energy into local non-profit organizations where he built brotherhood and did good works for those in need. He was a fifty-six-year member of Phi Delta Kappa, a forty-seven-year member of the Moose Lodge, and a twenty-year member of the Sons of the American Legion. You might have seen him manning the grill for the brothers at the Phi Delts or at an American Legion high school-level baseball game, helping fry fish, firing a rifle at the funeral of a veteran, or helping to balance the books so these organizations could survive, thrive, and continue their philanthropic missions.
In his later years, Pete fell in love with travel and warmer climates. In the winters, he often migrated to Florida or Arizona. He loved the history and monuments of our country and explored many of our national parks. He especially loved traveling to Mississippi where he would visit his nieces, DeeDe Kovatch and Barb Coburn, who were like daughters to him. While relaxing in one of these places, you probably saw him working on a crossword puzzle in one of his newspapers or reading a book about the Civil War.
Most important to Pete…relationships with family and friends. Pete’s friendship was not won easily, but once it was, he was fiercely loyal. He appreciated all the friendships he fostered throughout his life, and Pete would tell you how much he valued the company and support of his friends like Spencer Pilkins, whose steadfast friendship kept him by Pete’s side until the end… helping in any way he could.
Pete’s family extends its heartfelt gratitude to his devoted partner Vivian, who cared for Pete as his health worsened and helped him live his last couple of years to the fullest. Her love gave him great strength and brought him so much joy.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, November 19, 2023 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Deaton-Clemens Van Gilder Funeral Home (300 W. Madison St., Plymouth, IN 46563).
A memorial service will follow with Chaplain Tim Lee officiating.
A celebration of life will be held at the Plymouth American Legion (1040 E. Jefferson St., Plymouth, IN 46563) from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thank you to all our friends and community for your support during this difficult time.
Deaton-Clemens Van Gilder Funeral Home is honored to be providing services in celebrating the life of Pete and wishes to extend our deepest condolences to the family.
Friends are invited to sign the online guest book and share memories with the family at: www.deatonclemensfh.com.