On January 6, 2021 our dear husband, father, and grandfather Ronald Mark Martin left this life, passing at long last into the peace of the next. A stalwart example of humility and kindness, Ron lived his life for others. We feel great comfort knowing that he is finally at rest.
Ron was born on July 2nd, 1958 in the small town of Ithaca, New York to his loving parents Mark Wayne and Anna Marie Martin. His parents moved with him and his older sister Kathy to live in Prosser, Washington where they were later joined by his younger siblings Bruce, Lisa, and William “Bill”. Ron adored his family and loved his parents very deeply.
As a boy Ron went on countless adventures in the fields of central Washington. As he matured into his high school years his love for adventure did not change. Ron was an ace of both his football and track teams, played in bands and choirs, and was in general a star in his high school.
Turning aside athletic opportunities, Ron attended BYU seeking a future career. At the age of 19 he paused his studies to serve a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the El Paso Texas Mission. Ron served others on his mission and built a strong testimony of Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ that blessed many people throughout the rest of his life.
Returning from his mission Ron’s life was always a flurry of activity. He developed a lifelong love of learning and studied at BYU, Baylor Medical School, USU, and finally UC Davis to get his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD in Microbiology and Plant Pathology. During his year of study in Logan Utah he met his sweetheart Juli Israelsen and won her heart. She went with him to Davis California, Jerusalem, and then to Cedar City Utah, where they settled down for 20 years. Together they had 8 children to whom he dedicated his life.
Ron taught as a microbiology professor and later department chair at Southern Utah University. He found great joy in helping countless students prepare for medical school and building up the department to what it is today. During this time, he also took up the responsibility of teaching the Southern Utah Flora class. He had a long association with the national parks and loved guiding his students through the many natural wonders of Southern Utah. He also further developed this love serving on the Bryce Canyon National Park board for many years. He had a passion for researching new things and did his best to share his excitement with his family as well.
A treasured experience during Ron’s time in Cedar City was the opportunity to help a good friend and neighbor Del Parson in some of his works. Ron acted as a model for several of the paintings that Del Parson created for the Church and always looked back on it as a great blessing in his life.
As a father, Ron was thoughtful and kind. He showed his love by constantly seeking to provide the best home he could for his children. His forts and play structures that he built were a main attraction for all the kids in the neighborhood and the majority of his free time was spent with his kids or building something for them.
Ron had a deep love of books and learning that he passed on to all his children. He was always learning something new and was on the forefront of every edge of science that he could be. He loved the words of the prophets and leaves behind an extensive collection of all the books on church history and doctrine.
Ron was a man of many hobbies and talents. He loved the outdoors: skiing, camping, biking, and hiking. He loved to travel the world, showing his family new places and exploring new cultures. Music was a powerful part of his life and he continued to explore new music for his whole life. In his younger days he loved playing in his band and with his sister Kathy and later loved to jam with his kids creating new music.
Ron is survived by his wife Juli, his brother Bruce, his sisters Kathy and Lisa, his 8 children and 2 grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents Mark and Anna and his brother Bill. The family is very grateful for the enormous support of the local community, many good friends and relatives.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday January 13, 2021 at 11:00am at the following address: 2540 N 400 E, North Logan, UT 84341, with a viewing prior beginning at 9:30am. Masks are required.
Services will be livestreamed and may be access below.
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