John Paul Martin, 86, a 33-year resident of Pine Island, formerly of West Chester, Pa., passed away in his home in McDonough, Ga. Feb. 28, 2013. He was the son of Earnest and Pearl Martin.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred; and son, John; and his siblings, Alice Megin, Ruth Ralston, Winifred Pratt, Robert Martin, Edith Barnard.
He is survived by his wife, Donna Grabill Martin; his son, Ted (Amanda); and granddaughter, Kiley Simone. He also leaves behind his step-children, Gary Grabill (Phyllis) and Terri Pearce (Al); four step-grandchildren and four great-step -grandchildren. He is also survived by siblings, Norman (Phylis), Carol (Marylin), Esther Ciereszko and their families.
John Paul Martin
He was employed by Bond Bread Co. before working independently in the trucking business for 30 years. Following his retirement in 1980, he moved to Florida, where he enjoyed owning the Gulf Breeze Inn for several years (now know as The Ragged Ass).
He was also in the infantry (World War II), where he earned a Purple Heart after being injured in France. He was a member of the VFW (West Chester, Pa., Post 106), American Legion (West Chester, Pa., Post 0134), Greater Pine Island Elk Lodge #2781 and he was the first governor of the Pine Island Moose Lodge #1954, chartered in 1984.
He was an active member of the Greater Pine Island Lions Club and held several offices. In one of its annual fund-raisers, he was an honorary mayor and governor, and helped support many other events, including a playground for children in St. James City and working to acquire Lee County public transportation one day a week for Pine Island. He also ran the I.O.O.B. parties (International Order of Old Bastards), which is a carryover of a common greeting the soldiers brought back with them when they returned from Australia during World War II and took place once a month during season.
While a resident for 17 years at Fisherman's Wharf, he served on the board and sponsored most of their holiday dinners. He also was a long-time member of the St James Civic Center and participated in many of its events. He and his wife Donna were Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus for the children of the Moose for 21 years.
He gave many memorable performances at various clubs: a bride in a mock wedding with Ruthie MacIntyre, Liberace, Peter Pan, etc. He also entered and pulled his decorated pontoon boat in many Christmas and Fourth of July parades for the Lions Club.
He was well liked and will be missed by many.
A celebration of John's life will be held at Limoncello Restaurant in West Chester, Pa., Saturday, March 30, 2013, at noon.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to "The Greater Pine Island Lions Club" to further their progress on the children's playground project:
The Greater Pine Island Lions Club
P.O. Box 734
St. James City, FL 33956