DOVER Wilfred Walter Martin, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret), “Wil”, 94, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather died December 20, 2018 at Kent General Hospital.
Wil was born in Peoria, Illinois, March 23, 1924, son of Anne Adelia Tallyn Martin and Walter B. Martin, both deceased. His sister, Mildred Irene Martin Buhl, is also deceased. Wil’s first wife, Betty Ray Uhrie Martin and second wife, Elizabeth Minnich Martin, pre-deceased him. He leaves behind his wife, Shirley M. Aikins Graff Martin, his daughter, Josephine Anne Martin Johnson of Dover, DE and his son, Raymond W. Martin of Denver, CO, along with his step children Sandy Minnich, David Minnich, Steven L. Graff, Timothy J. Graff, and his wife, Tini A. Scherer Graff, and Thomas C. Graff. His grandchildren total 3, along with 13 step grandchildren and 9 step great grandchildren.
At the age of 4, Wilfred was admitted, along with his younger sister, to Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Children’s School, Normal, IL, where they resided along with approximately 1500 other children. At the age of 18, Wil [Marty] graduated from University High School, Normal, IL, and immediately enlisted in the Army Air Corp in 1942. He retired in 1968 from the U.S. Air Force at Dover Air Force Base as a Lieutenant Colonel, Command Pilot and Instructor Pilot. He completed college credits during nights and weekends to receive his Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Tampa, FL in 1961. In 1968, Wil started a franchise in public accounting business trading as General Business Services. During this time, he received numerous certificates and awards for outstanding company accomplishments, awards and recognitions. He again retired as an accountant in 2007.
He served as Chairman of the Small Business Committee, Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce. He initiated the Small Business Person of the Year Program and co-sponsored the annual awards with the Chamber for 14 years. He attended the 1970 White House Conference on Small Businesses as an elected Delaware Delegate.
Wil was the founding president of the Dover Chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, Inc. He formed the Dover Tones quartet where he sang as lead singer for seven years entertaining civic and cultural organizations in the Dover area.
For the past 18 years, he has been known for his “Musical Memories with Wil” program. He and his troupe of singers have volunteered musical entertainment to senior populations in various nursing homes, hospitals, day care centers, and retirement homes throughout Delaware. Each month, 15 different facilities were uplifted with the group.
Wil was a lifetime member of The Heritage Foundation, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), American Legion, National Rifle Association (NRA), and Daedellions. He also was a member of Wyoming United Methodist Church and Capital City Rotary Club and was a recipient of the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Certificate.
Organizations he served with during his business career include District Small Business Advisory Council, Philadelphia, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and the National Panel of Consumer Arbitrators.
There will be a visitation on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, from 6:00-9:00 pm at Pippin Funeral Home, 119 W. Camden-Wyoming Ave., Wyoming, DE. Funeral Service will be at Calvary Church, 1141 E. Lebanon Rd., Dover, DE on January 3, 2019 at 11:00 am. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Calvary Church, 1141 E. Lebanon Rd., Dover, DE, or Hillsdale College, MI, email@example.com.
Letters of condolences can be made via www.pippinfuneralhome.com
1141 E. Lebanon Rd., Dover DE 19904