Kenneth Wayne Martin Sr., age 67, of Oak Harbor, died unexpectedly from respiratory failure on July 20, 2018 at his Mount Vernon home. Born Nov. 2, 1950 and raised in Bowling Green, Ky., Wayne enlisted in the Navy after graduating from Warren Central High School in 1969. After boot camp in Great Lakes, ‘A’ school in Jacksonville, AE3 K. W. Martin’s first duty station was Naval Air Station Whidbey Island; he checked into VAH 123, where he met Delmer Herron, who was to be his best man 12 months later. In 1970, Wayne met his wife Aida at the local USO dance on Pioneer Way. Call it fate or destiny, the rest is history. Del and Wayne remained best friends until his passing.
Wayne and Aida were married at St. Joseph’s base church on Nov. 14, 1970, the start of their 47 1/2-year life’s journey together.
A Vietnam War veteran, their tours of duty took them to Imperial Beach, NAS Miramar, Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines, Naval Air Facility China Lake, NAS Whidbey Island, NAS Moffett Field (where Wayne was a geographic bachelor) and returned to NAS Whidbey Island, where AEC K.W. Martin retired in July 1991 with the Rooks, VAQ 137 (plankowner). Deployments included the USS Kitty Hawk in 1972, and the USS America. Wayne was a Training Air Reserve (TAR) the last 10 years of his service.
While stationed at Cubi Point, Wayne and Aida enjoyed the luxury of a live-in housekeeper, a groundskeeper and a seamstress. Aida’s family traveled to the Philippines to rejoice at the birth of Angela at Subic Bay Naval Hospital, July 21, 1974. Because Aida had no live-in housekeeper at China Lake, she did the next best thing: flew home to her Mom and family in Oak Harbor, 8.5 months pregnant, with 20-month-old Angela. Kenny Wayne was born at Naval Hospital Oak Harbor, April 6, 1976.
After retirement, Wayne worked several jobs before opening MARS (Martin’s Automotive Repair Service), which he operated for 10 years until retiring a second time in 2005. After his second retirement, Wayne enjoyed working on his own cars, rebuilding his boat motor and playing slots at the local casino. Wayne was a handyman extraordinaire. He loved a challenge, and there was no mechanical or electrical task too big or small to tackle.
Fond memories include extended family gatherings to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and summer vacations at Lake Chelan, Leavenworth and Ocean Shores; camping with the Filipino American Association of Oak Harbor (served as Sgt-at-Arms 1985-86), wrapping and selling lumpia, rocking the Holland Happening and Fourth of July annual parades, fishing for rainbow trout at Heart Lake, king salmon and ling cod at Deception Pass, smelt at Cornet Bay, digging for butter clams at Polnell Shores, crabbing for Dungeness at Oak Harbor Bay, and poker tournaments with his father-in-law. Raised a Lutheran, Wayne attended St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, and more recently, Immaculate Conception in Mount Vernon. The Martin family in Bowling Green will cherish Wayne and Aida’s visit over the Fourth of July Holiday. Wayne made it a point to stop by and pay respect to his granddaddy and grandmamma Martin’s gravesite, visit his first home on Glenn Lily Lane, his paper route, the town square, Murray’s Diner, where his mamma worked, Western Kentucky University, and tour the Corvette Museum. Wayne and Aida’s son Kenny will treasure his last visit with his Dad on the Fourth of July, as well.
He and Dad work on a kitchen remodel, rocked at a Los Lonely Boys concert in Park City, Utah and watched and recycled after the parade.
Left to mourn their loss are his wife of 47 years, Aida Martin (Oak Harbor), Angela (Oak Harbor) and Ken (Mindy, Heber City, Utah); grandchildren Zackoby Martin and Seth Letrondo; Jacob, Piper and Graham Martin; Wayne’s daddy, James Kenneth Martin and sister, Pam (Gary Gammons, of Bowling Green, Ky.); nieces Tara (Chris Alford; children Alex, Brandon, Katie and Lauren); and Tonya (children Bret and Rachel (daughter Lacey), Billy and Carly (all from Kentucky); and his Letrondo in-laws: Mom Betty, Belinda (Roy Powell of Bellingham), Bert Jr. (Berni of Bothell), Ceaser (of Burlington), David (Colleen of Seattle), Edna (Gary Hurst of Kirkland), and Faye (Eric Tibbs of Redmond); and extensive Letrondo nieces, nephews and greats. Claire, Glen, Bodhi and Kaleao Unger of Kilauea, Hawaii, and Angela’s older children and grandchild also survive Wayne.
Wayne was predeceased by his mamma, Lois Gregory Martin, siblings Joyce and Danny, and father-in law, Bert Letrondo Sr. Memorial service for Kenneth Wayne Martin will be Aug. 13, 1 p.m. at Wallin Funeral Home, potluck reception to follow. Interment with military honors will be Aug. 14 at 11 a.m. at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent. Novena rosary, 9th day, will be July 28, at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 6:30 p.m., potluck reception to follow.