ARIZONA — James O. Martin, 93, passed away on December 12, 2021, in Ariz., following a short illness.
J.O., as he was affectionately called by friends and family, was born on November 9, 1928, in Huron to Glenn O. and Myrtle Martin. His elementary, high school, and first year of college were spent in Huron, followed by three years at South Dakota State University where he graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. He played Jackrabbit baseball and served on the SDSU Student Council.
Following graduation, he proudly served in the Korean War as a fighter pilot with the United States Air Force (USAF). After returning to civilian life, he was a Captain and Flight Manager with United Airlines before retiring in 1991, after 33 years in Chicago.
The highlight of his flying years came when he joined Lima Lima Aerobatic Flight Team, a civilian precision flying demonstration team based in Naperville, Ill. Jim performed in air shows across the nation, often cheered on by family, and he made many friends along the way. His “happy place” truly was among the clouds, flying freely through the skies.
He was an avid skier, golfer, and tennis player and a true friend to all who knew him. He was inspired and driven throughout his life to support the many and varied charities that served the needs of people in our country and world.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 71 years, Arlene Johnson Martin; his children, Kim Paschal (Jim-deceased), Jon (Rita) Martin, and Wendy (Tom) Landers; grandchildren, Amanda Martin, Nate Martin, Corey Landers, Colleen Landers; and great-granddaughter, Olivia Rhodes.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Myrtle; and his sister, Betty Schuelke.
Memorials may be sent to Homeless Youth Connection at 9950 West Van Buren, Suite 114, Avondale, Ariz. 85323, or Evans Scholars Foundation at 2501 Patriot Blvd., Glenview, Ill. 60026-8022.