Obituaries & Tributes
Thomas James Martin
date of birth August 13 1944
date of death August 12 2018
Thomas James Martin passed away peacefully and comfortably on August 12, 2018, a day before his 74th birthday.
A memorial service will be on Friday September 7th, 2pm at St Bartholomew Episcopal Church: 11265 SW Cabot St; Beaverton, OR, 97005.
Thomas James Martin was born in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1944. He grew up with his parents, Chester & Ina Claire and one brother, Bob. They lived on the border of Tobacco Road, a section known for its many tobacco fields & factories.
Tom was an attentive uncle to his nephew Chris as Chris was growing up. They spent family vacation times together on road trips going to the NC coast. A favorite destination was Long Beach, driving through the countryside, fishing on the Long Beach pier, and staying in rented vacation beach cottages along the Eastern seaboard.
Quiet and introspective, Tom gave off a certain southern writer persona. Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner and Carson McCullers personified Tom’s expression to his approach to life: quiet on the surface but exuberant and expressive below. His biggest influencer was 17th century Japanese poet, Basho, recognized as the greatest master of haiku throughout history. Tom was a prolific writer published in many prestigious poetry magazines, online publications, and books. He had a way of filtering the noise of massive sentences, condensing long thoughts into pure, exacting points of view. Pure yet simple. And this won him significant recognition in the literary world.
Thomas-an avid Tar Heel basketball fan- went to college at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC and lived in London for a time after his European discharge from the army. He could rattle off all of the military lingo known to man and then taught his nieces the meaning of spam, bugging out and SNAFU, not to mention a few other terms. Tom served as a medic right before the Vietnam War buildup and journeyed to places in Europe including Germany, France, Scotland, Ireland, and England.
In 1987 Thomas married his love & soul mate, Joyce Watson in Virginia City, Nevada, and then in 1991 the pair moved to Beaverton, Oregon and set up home complete with vegetables in the backyard, several goldfish, a cat, one dog and one sauna. They enjoyed the Oregon way of life; hiking, and being outdoors as much as possible. One of Toms’ favorite places was the Tualatin Hills Nature Park where he and Joyce spent countless hours walking the trails.
An armchair traveler towards the end of Tom’s life, family and friends would swap favorite books and funny shows during weekly Sunday visits at the care facility. He agreed the best way to see the world could very well be though watching a National Geographic video at home, with the window open.
However at the very top of his ‘to watch list’ was the show, “How I met Your Mother.” It struck a funny bone in him and he had watched every episode in sequence 4-5 times. That’s approximately 381 hours of viewing pleasure.
Tom was an avid photographer and at one point worked managing a camera store in Durham, NC. His resume was long with a variety of expertise. He was an employment commission counselor, a WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) program manager, customer service representative, computer wizard, and a professional technical writer.
Some favorite memories of Tom are ones with his nieces and nephews. Holding niece Brigida when she was a baby was very heartwarming. His facial expression would always soften when he was around the youngest members of our family.
He introduced Manisha & Shaina to the movie, “E.T.” The girls were too young to understand this was an older film yet Tom viewed it as a must see classic. He also taught them the wonder of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and when they came to visit him, he would always pick out a movie ahead of time of something he thought they might like.
To get a chuckle out of Tom, he seemed to appreciate the stories of the foibles of human nature, and simple irony made him laugh. This humor came out in his writing of poetry of the people in his life.
Thomas is survived by his wife, Joyce, brother Bob (Linda), nephew Chris (Tami), his nieces Brigida Santos, Manisha Leiman, and Shaina Leiman, his grandniece, Abby Martin, his aunts, Lois Colie and Patricia Bolton, and numerous cousins.
Thomas’ nephew Luis Santos predeceased him.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to St Bartholomew Church, or to the Oregon Humane Society.
The family gratefully acknowledges Toms’ caregivers and others involved with his care:
- The Fachiol Family: Ana, Tudorel, Jennifer, Nathan, and Noah
- Numerous Kaiser medical personnel including Dr. Cheryl Layne
- Kaiser Westside Medical Center Hospice
2 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by Staff at Autumn Funerals, Cremation & Burial Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Jacob Salzer Peace to a wonderful writer, whom I never had the chance to meet in-person, but whose writing is always deep and introspective. May there be peace to his friends and family. Sincerely, Jacob Salzer