At his request, no services are planned for Robert C. (Bob) Martin, 90, who died peacefully July 4, 2019 at his home in Casper, WY. He was born October 1, 1928 to Charles C. and Syble M. (Robinson) Martin in Myrtle, Oregon County, Missouri. Bob was one of five siblings. The family moved several times finding sustaining work during the time of the Great Depression.
He spoke fondly of his times, as a child of 12 or so, of his working on the family farm. At the age of 15 years old, Bob was a partner and a mechanic at a Studebaker Dealership in St. Louis, MO. After traveling with his Dad working at various jobs in the late 1940’s, he traveled to Wheatland, WY and worked on a ranch owned by Alro and Mickey Bowen. It was in Wheatland where he met Joy Lane Adams, who lived next door to and babysat for the Bowens. Bob and Joy were later married in Kimball, NE on August 23, 1952. The couple made their home near Ft. Meade, as Bob was drafted into the United States Army and began his service July 14, 1953. On July 3, 1955, he received an Honorable Release from serving Active Duty in the United States Army. This was followed by an Honorable Discharge from the United States Army Reserve in July 11, 1961.
Their son, Steven Wade was born at Ft. Meade, MD on 1954. Bob and Steven shared the same birthday.
Bob, Joy and Steve moved to Casper, WY in 1955. Bob worked for Coliseum Motors as a mechanic before opening his own service station on the corner of Country Club Road and East 2nd Street in Casper. A daughter, Robin Kay, was born in Casper, in 1960.
In the mid 1960’s, Bob created, owned and operated Martin’s Automotive then eventually built on and transformed the business into Martin’s Auto Parts on East 2nd Street, where he worked until his retirement in 1995.
To say that Bob enjoyed building and racing stock cars is an understatement. Local stock car racing fans may remember his early, aggressive and record-breaking driving at the stock car track that was located where Brookhurst Subdivision is now. His neighbors may remember him for working on and revving up his stock cars in the garage behind his house. (Yes, we were those neighbors.) ?? Bob and his racing partner, Norris Nelson, spent many hours building and racing the cars. They raced in various towns in Wyoming and in Denver, CO. From 1971 thru 1977, Bob joined his brother John Martin racing Indy, USAC and occasional NASCAR stock cars. Retirement afforded him the opportunity to share his knowledge and skills with several racecar owners and drivers and to travel with various racing circuits throughout the U.S.
In his later years, he very much enjoyed his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Joy, his wife, passed away in October of 2007. Shortly after, in December of 2007, Bob suffered a massive stroke, but with his strong will and determination, he worked his way back to health. Many thanks to Laura Martin for expressing how very important it is for a stroke victim to do intense therapies during the first 30 days following a stroke. Bob continued formal therapy then also invented his own therapy when David Karst told him that he was welcome any time to go to his shop and work on his cars. He would recognize the car parts, learn how to spell, write and say them. It was not unusual to see a disassembled carburetor sitting on the kitchen table with a dictionary, pencil and paper. Bob even drove himself to Missouri a couple of times. As the owner of yet another race car, his nephew, Terry James, drove that car at several racetracks in the St. Louis area. The night of the very first race, around midnight, we received a very excited phone call from Bob saying that they had won 1st place! Terry James and Steve Martin worked endless hours over the next few years helping Bob fulfill his racing ambitions.
As time went by, Bob’s physical health steadily declined, but his sharp mind remained strong. Megan Diekemper cared for Bob for many years as his good friend and personal CNA. There are no words to express our immense gratefulness and appreciation to Megan.
Bob is survived by his son, Steve Martin of Casper; daughter, Robin Perry and husband (Pete) of Casper; brother, John Martin and wife (Linda) of Irvine, CA; sister, Dorcella Powell of Bland, MO; Grandson, Eric Martin and wife (Emily) of Hardin, MT; Grandson, Shawn MacDonald and wife (Kara) of WA, Granddaughter, Katie MacDonald of Port Angeles, WA; Great Grandchildren, Carson, Addison, Levi & Orion as well as many nieces and nephews.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Naomi James; brother in law, Grover James, Sister, Linda Finch; Baby Martin.
At a later date, Bob will be placed with his wife at the Oregon Trail State Veteran’s Cemetery in Evansville, Wyoming.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Thanks to Newcomer Funeral Home for their professional, respectful and kind service.
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