PORTAGE LAKE AND FORT FAIRFIELD, MAINE - Donald "Duke" Martin went to be with the Lord on October 10, 2014. He was born in Fort Fairfield, April 4, 1927, the son of Earl and Gertrude Martin.
Duke grew up in Fort Fairfield, Maine closely surrounded by friends and family. During this time he attended public school. His childhood pastimes included baseball, basketball, ice skating, and fishing with his close friends Mitt McKinney, Herbie Nightingale, Dint Lovely, and Chet Dooley. He worked picking and roguing potatoes and working for the family hot dog stand cooking the french fries. Duke was raised in a home on Presque Isle Street and was particularly close to his mother Gertrude. Though the family was not of great means, there was an abundance of love in the household. Through these early experiences, Duke learned the value of personal responsibility in all areas of life. These boyhood friendships and family ties he cherished all his life.
He completed his high school career several weeks before class graduation and enlisted in the United States Navy in the spring of 1945. After military service his formal education included graduation from the University of Maine in 1952 with a B.A. in Ancient and European History; a Master's Degree in Church and European History from Boston University in 1957, and in 1974 a Master's Degree in Adult Education from the University of Southern Maine.
He worked in some phase of education for thirty nine years. He began teaching at Fort Fairfield High School (1952-54) then joined the staff at Presque Isle High School from 1954-1970. During his time at P.I. High School he served as a part time director of Adult Education. In 1970 he became the full time Director of the program for MSAD 1. In 1978 he succeeded to the position of Assistant Professor of Adult Education at USM. A year later, he became the Director of Adult and Community Education Staff Development at the University of Maine from which he retired in 1991.
Duke's most life changing experience was his conversion to Christianity while a sophomore at University of Maine. He found the Apostle Paul's response to the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:32) to be a profound truth "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved..." With that belief Duke walked from the darkness of this world into the light of Christ. He was a faithful Bible student until his death. He had membership in several churches throughout his life serving as President, deacon, and Bible school teacher at high school and adult levels for over twenty-five years.
He was predeceased by his parents, brother and sister-in-law, Darrell and Jacqueline Martin, brother, Loomis Martin, and sister and brother-in-law, Glenna and Roland Norris. He is survived by his wife, Gloria of Portage Lake; daughter, Rebecca Lynn and son-in-law, Michael Wright of Ellsworth, grandchildren, Jasmine Ireland of Brewer, Adam Walton (and wife Melissa) of Brewer, Jared and Cameron Wright of Ellsworth, great-grandchildren, Eden and Esther Walton of Brewer, and his sister, Betty Jane Pye of Plainville, CT.
Since retirement in 1991 Duke has lived at Portage Lake with his wife, Gloria. During this time he served on the E-911 committee and for seven years as the Treasurer for the Portage Lake Association.
In lieu of flowers, Duke requested that contributions in his name be made to the charity of your choice. He learned from living what Jesus taught first and foremost - love for God, neighbor, and self by giving to others.
Friends may call Friday October 17, 2014 from 7-9 p.m. at the Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home, 144 Main Street, Fort Fairfield. A service to celebrate Duke's life will be conducted 11 a.m. Saturday, October 18, 2014 at the Bethel Baptist Church, corner of Presque Isle and Main Street, Fort Fairfield, with Pastor Ken Phelphs officiating. Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery, Fort Fairfield. A time of continued fellowship with refreshments will be held at the Fort Fairfield VFW Paul Lockhart Post Number 6187, Presque Isle Street, Fort Fairfield, immediately after the interment service. Online condolences may be expressed at www.gibersondorseyfuneralhome.com
I Duke, requested my obituary conclude with a heartfelt expression of my appreciation to everyone who befriended me during this earthly pilgrimage, especially to those fellow Christians who practiced what Christ taught - Love ye one another.
Post Tenebras Lux
"After Darkness, Light"