CHELSEA - Joseph Henri Jean Martin, 72, of Chelsea, lost his courageous battle with cancer surrounded by his family on May 9, 2014, at Togus Springs. Mr. Martin was born on Dec. 18, 1941, in Lewiston, the son of Isidore Martin and Beatrice Corneau Martin. Jos. was educated in the Lewiston school system. He proudly served the Army Reserve from 1959 to 1962 and the Army from 1962 to 1968. He spent time in Europe and did two tours in Vietnam from 1965 to 1967.
Jos. was a very active member of the community, and always gave of himself. His sense of humor brought a smile to the face of everyone that he encountered. He was eager to help anyone in need and was always ready and willing to advocate for a brother or sister of the military. Among other things, Jos. was a proud life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, VVA, Disabled American Veterans, NRA, The American Legion Post 4, the West Gardiner Rod and Gun Club, and the National Association for Gun Rights. He loved wood working, giving many beautiful pieces to friends and relatives. He also enjoyed bird watching, hunting and fishing.
He was a passionate volunteer for the Veterans Administration at Togus, driving for the DAV and for the past seven years volunteering in the eye clinic. He developed close relationships with much of the staff, loving them as a second family. He received many awards for his dedication, most recently one for 21 years of voluntary service and a total of 21,052 hours volunteered.
He married the love of his life, Nancy, on Aug. 19, 2006. Jos. is survived by his loving wife, Nancy; two sisters, Irene Chamberlain and husband A. Bernard and Muguette Brillant and husband Lucien; sister-in-law Fran Martin; his children, Marie Woodrum and fiancé Jim Nault, Michelle Martin, Alice Whitney and husband Scott, Lara Riele, Lana Martin, Erika Martin, Nicholas Martin and wife Jessica, and Wendy Rackley and husband Sean; and step-children Jana Colomy and Dawn French; as well as several grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Jos. was predeceased by his parents; a brother, Rene Martin; and a sister, Constance Martin.
Visiting hours will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, May 16, at Staples Funeral Home, 53 Brunswick Ave., Gardiner, where a celebration of life with military honors will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 22, in the Maine Veterans' Memorial Cemetery Mount Vernon Road in Augusta.