11-5-37 - 8-25-19
Jim S. Martin, formerly of Morton Street, Ashland, passed away at his home in Portland, on Sunday August 25th surrounded by family and beloved pets. Jim and his wife Becky moved to Portland in 2016 to be near their son Simon and his family. Though they missed Ashland, they never regretted living across the street from their five-year-old grandson, Ben.
Jim was born in Seattle in 1937, grew up in Portland, went to college and lived for many years in the east. He moved to the Rogue Valley in 1975 to teach at Crater High School, where he taught off and on for thirty years. His working years also included periods of teaching in the Medford school district and at SOU. He was for several years in the 1970's and '80's, the drama teacher at Crater, where he resurrected a moribund theatre program and mounted some memorable plays.
Jim was active in various choral groups, a charter member of the Siskiyou Singers and a soloist with both the Siskiyou Singers and the Rogue Valley Chorale.
During his last years in Ashland he had the great pleasure to be a part of Extended Circle, performing in senior residential facilities around the valley, and the quartet Second Wind. You might have seen him in a play or two at SOU or various small community theaters in the 1980's. He loved to sing and kept singing until the move to Portland.
He was also active in the Ashland First Congregational Church, where he served as lay leader for several years and sang in the choir. It was on his first Sunday at the church that he met his wife-to-be, Becky, and her two sons, Phillip and Simon. They were married in 1980 and Jim adopted the boys. It was a great package. He had the pleasure in his final years of writing and directing a multigenerational Christmas play to be performed in the church in place of a sermon on a Sunday before Christmas each year. These played to packed houses.
People sometimes asked him, "What do you get out of church anyway?" And he always replied, "It's not what I get out of it. It's what I am able to put in." He found the church a place to connect to the wider community, and he believed that community was important, if not the main thing.
He is survived by his wife Becky, sons Phillip and Simon, and six grandchildren.
He bids farewell to all his family and friends, and reminds them to take care of each other and the communities they share.
A celebration of Jim's life will be held at the Ashland Congregational UCC on Sat., October 5 at 2:00 PM.
Credit: Mail Tribune
For more information, contact: Jeanne Stallman, Executive Director, Outreach and Engagement, email@example.com.