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Monday, July 31, 2023
Starts at 1:00pm (Eastern time)
William J. “Bill” Martin, 95, formerly of Bucyrus and residing in Danville for the past seven years allowing him to be closer to family, passed peacefully Monday, July 24, 2023 at Sycamore Run Nursing Home.
He was born September 19, 1927 in Draper, NC to the late James G. and Josephine (Turner) Martin. Bill was also preceded in death by his stepfather, Hayward Silcott. In April of 1946, he entered the Air Force where he served as a mechanic and worked on his share of P51 Mustang planes. This is where his passion for flying began. A hobby that would take him into his mid-70s. In the early 1950s Bill was introduced by a mutual friend to Betty Marie Vencill and following a brief courtship, they married on January 30, 1954. He always stated; “I married the most beautiful lady in Richlands, Virginia”, and they shared 66 wonderful years until her passing on August 5, 2020. Shortly after marriage, the family made their way to Bucyrus, where Bill worked at Swan Rubber, retiring as a foreman in December of 1985.
Before reaching the age of 60, Bill came to know the Lord, which completely turned his life around. He knew what God had given him and he did his very best to make up for what he felt “were so many lost years”. He witnessed to anyone up until recent months and he spent years worshipping at Calvary Baptist before joining Wayside Chapel in 2000. He served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, Christian School Board member and assisted wherever else needed.
Bill was a sentimental man who loved his family. His daughters recall countless funny stories he’d make up when they were young; the listening ear he provided, and his advice and encouragement offered as they encountered challenges throughout life. They also cherished the many poems he secretly hide which always put a smile on their face when found (a tradition they have carried on). He proudly shared his love of fishing with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, memories they will reflect on for many years to come. He adored his wife, and they shared many airplane rides for breakfast, spent hours on their porch and often grabbed a coffee and coke from McDonald’s in preparation for their drive to Apple Valley Lake where they could take in the beauty that God created. In more recent years, Bill was happiest that he had the chance to visit the homes of all grandkids spread out across the country and see the happiness that God provided them.
For many years Bill or W.J. as some refer to him, began his morning with the Over the Hill Gang. A group that met at the airport for coffee and fellowship. He spent countless hours throughout many days using his mechanical skills to help fellow pilots with their planes, in return he always had a plane to fly. He referred to himself as “Mayor of the reservoir” as that’s where he was often found fishing. During the winter months, his hobby was making flies for fly fishing. These flies, were considered to be the finest of quality, as his attention to detail was second to no one. He also took meticulous care of anything he owned or worked on.
He served as an advisor for a number of years with the Air Explorers and was a longtime member of the Crawford County Conservation League.
Bill will be missed by his daughters, Elaine (Randy) Wert and Terri (Loren) Shifley; grandchildren, Rachel (Nate) Miller, Ryan (Jenny) Wert, Blaine (Kelsey) Shifley and Taylor (Adam) Schilperoort; great grandchildren, Grace Miller, Madi Miller, Gage Miller, Macy Miller, Kinsley Shifley, Duke Shifley, Brynn Shifley, Harper Schilperoort and Henry Schilperoort; sisters, Clara Yates and Dorothy (Joe) Vencill as well as a sister-in-law, Lillian Martin and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a sister, Ruth Ann Dotson and a brother Billy Martin.
Friends are invited to join Bill’s family at Crawford County Memory Gardens where his graveside service will be held at 1:00 pm Monday, July 31 with Pastor and longtime friend, Tim Compton officiating. Military Rites will be provided by the Air Force Honor Guard and the Bucyrus Veterans Military Funeral Detail.
If desired, donations can be made payable to either Wayside Christian School or Temple Christian Academy and will be accepted through Wise Funeral Service or at the cemetery on day of his service. Expressions of sympathy are encouraged to be shared on his Tribute Wall.