Elmer Donald Martin, 93, of Morton passed away on Monday, July 8, 2019 at Apostolic Christian Restmor in Morton. Don was born March 4, 1926 on a farm southeast of Hopedale, IL, to Elmer and Clara (Nafziger) Martin. He married Vurla Birkey on June 26, 1949 at the Groveland Missionary Church. Last month they celebrated their 70th anniversary.
Surviving are his wife, Vurla Martin of Morton; three daughters, Judy (Roger) Zimmerman of Wauseon, OH, Janet (David) Teat of Fort Wayne, IN, and Joan (Jeff) Keach of Morton; eight grandchildren, Erin (Joshua) Corwin, Joseph (Shannon) Zimmerman, Dr. James (Kate) Zimmerman, Brandon (Adrienne) Tate, Jackie (Adam) Pennington, Stephanie Teat, Daniel (Courtney) Keach and Elizabeth Keach; 11 great-grandchildren; one brother, Arlan (Lila) Martin of Morton; and five brothers-in-law and four sisters-in-law.
He was preceded in death by one brother, Vernon Martin, and two sisters, Gladys Litwiller and Evelyn Fanlund.
Don was a graduate of Hopedale High School. He attended Taylor University and Bradley University and completed the Caterpillar Business Training School, including international accounting. He was a WWII Army Air Corps veteran, serving in Air Sea Rescue which included the Bermuda Triangle. Don was in training as an Aviation Cadet when WWII ended. On October 7, 2009, he flew on the Peoria Honor Flight to Washington D.C.
Don worked as an accountant at Caterpillar, Inc. for 53 years, retiring in 1986 as an accounting manager. He then continued working as a consultant in the accounting division until 1998.
Don was involved in his community, serving on the school board, Community Chest, and many other organizations over the years. He had a special love for neighborhood Bible studies and was a lifelong member of Gideons International. He was a member of professional organizations including the National Association of Accountants and Caterpillar Retiree Club.
Don was a servant in the church and was a personal example of living life for Christ and encouraging and loving others. He taught adult Sunday school classes, was a deacon and board member, and was involved in men’s ministries.
Don was a member of Grace Church in Morton, where a funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 18, 2019, with Rev. Jonathan Farrell and Rev. Tim Bertsche officiating. A visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton. Further visitation will be held at the church on Thursday, from 9:00-9:45 a.m., prior to the service. Burial will be in Groveland Mennonite Church Cemetery, where military honors will be conducted by the US Air Force.
Memorials may be made to Grace Church in Morton, Gideons International, or Q Place (formerly Neighborhood Bible Study) P.O. Box 1581, Wheaton, IL 60187. To view Don’s video tribute or to leave an online condolence for the family, visit www.knappjohnson.com.
The family would like to thank the staff of Apostolic Christian Restmor and his OSF Hospice team for their wonderful care and compassion.