Ron Martin, 68, Lodi, formerly of Loyal, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. He had been resting at his home he helped build, nestled in the Lodi Marsh, surrounded by his loving wife, Kathy, and two sons, Andy and Dan. A celebration of Ron’s life will be held at 11 a.m., on Saturday, Aug. 26, at Holy Wisdom Monastery, 4200 Hwy M, Middleton, with a luncheon to follow the service. Visitation will be held at Gunderson Lodi Funeral & Cremation Care, 157 S. Main Street, Lodi, from 4-7 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 25, and also on Saturday at Holy Wisdom Monastery from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.
Ron, the oldest of a big, happy family of 11 children, was born in Marshfield. After a brief time there and in Madison, the growing Martin family moved to a small farm in Loyal where Ron had ample space to run around and cause a bit of mischief. Ron was lucky enough to marry the love of his life in 1979. Together, Ron and Kathy raised their two sons in a loving and peaceful family, contributed to their community, and explored the world. After two years at UW-Stevens Point, Ron transferred to UW-Madison to complete his degree in biology. He dedicated his professional life to advocating for water quality at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He led the state’s efforts in controlling the spread and ill effects of aquatic invasive species. Ron’s passion for protecting the environment continued after his retirement from the state as he continued to work with Dane County and the Friends of the Lodi Scenic Valley to ensure water quality for his fellow citizens. A true conservationist at heart, Ron spent most of his waking hours enjoying the outdoors. His love of nature was infectious, as was his love overall. He passionately enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening, picking berries, running, hiking, skiing, and many other outdoor activities. It was through these activities that Ron cultivated some of his closest relationships. And we can’t forget the card game, Sheepshead, that he so loved to play with family and friends. Smart as a whip, Ron was rumored to be the best player around. Ron is one of those special people who left the world much better off. Through his meditation, spirituality, and loving relationships, he found a truly peaceful place in this world where he exhibited humility, respect, and a passion for adventure and life. He helped create sustainable peace in his family, his community, and his environment. He was an amazing man who will be dearly missed by many.
In addition to Kathy, Andy (Rachael Harley), and Dan (Rachael O’Flaherty), Ron left behind his mother, Lenore Martin; all 10 siblings: Gene (Jip) Martin, Dave (Shuleen) Martin, Rose Martin, Paul (Anne) Martin, Therese (Mike) Thompson, Carol Martin, Sheila (Larry) Durbin, Tom (Diane) Martin, John (Terri) Martin, and Maria (Joe) Coel; his mother-in-law, Rosalie Kiehnau; six siblings-in-law: Keith (Karla) Kiehnau, Wayne Kiehnau, Debra (Mike) Rudzik, John (Linda) Kiehnau, Renee (Ron) Heimerl, and Linda (Larry Yavorsky) Kiehnau; a clan of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews; and more wonderful friends than one could ever hope for.
Ron was preceded in death by his father, Hiram Martin.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Lodi Area Community Endowment (LACE), P.O. Box 5010, Madison, Wis. 53705-0010. The purest form of honor you can bestow upon this amazing man is to be kind to others and our environment, with responsible and sustainable enjoyment of this amazing world.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.