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Old 03-29-2007, 10:49 AM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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LtCol L. Wesley Martin USMC (ret), 91, Norton, MA

L. Wesley Martin, 91, of Norton, Mass., formerly of Kahkwa Blvd., in Erie, passed away March 15, 2007, in Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Attleboro, Mass. He was the husband of the late Violet R. “Bunny” Martin whom he married on Feb. 7, 1942. Born in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, Mr. Martin was a graduate of the Class of 1940 of Washington and Jefferson College and earned his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1949. He was a resident of Erie for 37 years. Mr. Martin moved to Mansfield, Massachusetts in 1999, where his daughter, Dorothy Powers and her family reside. Mr. Martin enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1940 and served with the Marine Corps during World War II, earning a Bronze Star and Purple Heart during the campaigns of Guadalcanal, New Britain and Okinawa. After the war, Mr. Martin planned the first military conference of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) nations. He also negotiated at a national level with Free China (Nationalist) to obtain agreements for Marine maneuvers on Taiwan (meeting with Chiang Kai-shek) and led similar negotiations with Korea. He was among the first lawyers in the Marine Corps Judge Advocate General Corps. He directed the First Marine Division Far East legal department. Mr. Martin developed many procedures for the newly authorized Uniform Code of Military Justice that remains today. He retired from the Marine Corps after 21 years of service as a Lt. Colonel in June 1961. Mr. Martin was the executive assistant to the late Mayor of Erie, Charles B. Williamson. He joined the former Security Peoples Trust Company in 1965 rising to Senior Executive Vice President and Chief of the Trust Department before retiring in 1980. Mr. Martin was a member of the American Bar Association, the Allegheny and Erie County Bar Associations, the International Bar Association of the Ryukyu Islands, Okinawa, Japan and the Pennsylvania and Federal District Courts. He received recognition from the Erie County Bar in 1999 for 50 years of legal service. Very active in the community, Mr. Martin helped to create the Erie Community Blood Bank. He served on numerous boards including Hamot and St. Vincent Hospitals, Erie Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Erie Independence House, the Visiting Nursing Association and the Navy League of Erie. He was very involved in the Washington and Jefferson and the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Associations. A passionate golfer, Mr. Martin played in the Senior Men’s League at Kahkwa Country Club for many years. He and his wife Bunny enjoyed dancing together and were active in dining and dancing circles. He was a member of Erie Maennerchor Club, Erie Aviation Club, Erie Club and Erie Yacht Club. Wes was a seasoned world traveler and most astute in local, national and international news. He had an engaging personality and was a superb Toastmaster. He was a bright conversationalist and a prolific storyteller. Mr. Martin was a loving dad, Grand Dad and “Pop Pop” who will be dearly missed. He is survived by four children, Claire M. “Bonnie” White (husband Peter) of Williamsport, Pa., Clifford W. Martin (wife Marie) of Cherry Hill, N.J., Dorothy M. Powers (husband David, Lt. Col., USAR) of Mansfield. Mass., and James W. Martin (wife Cheryl) of Erie. Mr. Martin is survived by 10 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. He was the father of the late Richard W. Martin, LTjg, USN of Erie who died Sept. 21, 1973. A private burial with full military honors will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery. The Martin Family cordially invites friends, relatives and colleagues to a reception in honor of Wes’ life from 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. on Sat. March 31, 2007, at the Lake Shore Country Club, 5950 Lake Shore Dr. Fairview, Pa. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mr. L. Wesley Martin may be sent to the Erie Community Foundation, 127 W. 6 Street, Erie, PA 16501. Sign the guestbook at

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