Lee Ellsworth Martin died peacefully last year in Frederick Memorial Hospital on Monday, May 16, 2016 in Frederick, Maryland, at the age of 82.
He was born July 14, 1933 in Detroit to Viberta (Moore) and Harry Emerson Martin Sr. He grew up in Bancroft, graduated from Durand High School in 1951 and graduated with high honors from Michigan State University in 1955 with a degree in political science. Lee was in ROTC at MSU and received a regular Army commission, but a motorbike accident when he was a Fulbright Scholar in Grenoble ended his plans for a military career.
He came to Washington, D.C. in 1956 and began his career as an intelligence analyst, serving in the CIA and the Department of Energy. His postings included Cyprus, France and Vietnam. He also worked for George Washington University and the organization High Frontier.
Lee married Judy in 1958, and the couple welcomed four children. After the fall of Saigon, he sponsored two pairs of Vietnamese refugees in his home.
He was ordained an Elder of the PC (USA), active in the Presbyterian churches in Georgetown, Rockville, Frederick and Traverse City. He never met a stranger, often being the first to welcome new visitors to church. He volunteered for many years at homeless shelters.
Lee was accomplished at writing light verse and often wrote poetry for family occasions, something he inherited from his famous great-grandmother, Julia A. Moore.
He retired from the Department of Energy in 1996, dividing his time between his home in Frederick and his cottage on Green Lake in Interlochen. He remained deeply interested in domestic and international politics.
Lee is survived by his wife of 57 years, Judith; children, Thomas, George (Jeff), Julia (Betsy) and her husband, Matt, and Sarah Lampert and her husband, Ken; grandchildren, Hanna, Charlotte and Phillip Jacunski, Zach and Ted Lampert and Katie Kessler; great-grandchildren, Nate and Finn Lampert and Caroline and Charlie Kessler; nieces, Sharon Wahl and Nancy Martin; and nephew, Jay Martin; and special friends, Louise Van Gilder Martin and Joanne Sten.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Harry Emerson Martin Jr.
Lee's ashes will be interred at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, next to his parents and many of his Moore relatives in Liberty Cemetery in Liberty Township, 7601 North 41 Road, Manton. There will be a reception later that afternoon from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Traverse Region Conservation Club, 4470 Norton Road, Grawn, just south of Traverse City. On US-31/M-37, go three miles south from Chums Corners to Norton Road. Turn west just before Lark Lawn & Tractor and go one-half mile. The Traverse Region Conservation Club is on the right.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Presbyterian Church of Traverse City, 701 Westminster Road, Traverse City, MI 49686.
Published on July 9, 2017