The bulk of this post, with the exception of the Message from the Board, at the end, originally appeared on Never-Gone.com.
Ray Martin was born Beneath a Winter's Sky in 1943 to Wilbur and Elsie in Chaseley, North Dakota, where he learned to care for his community working alongside his dad in the Martin Grocery Store. Ray fueled his faith next to his little brother, Warren and other youth in the Bowdon Community Church of God. He planted a caring heart hosting church guests in their home with his baby sister, Betty Jo (Shrout).
Under another winter sky in '67 Ray entered into a life-long partnership with the smartest, most beautiful, kindest, strongest, wisest, loving and lovable woman he could find, Nina Patrie. Freshly degreed from Warner Pacific College in Oregon, Pastor Ray extended his big heart to people in churches across North Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska before God expanded the call overseas. The Martins, now a team of 4, having added a son, Scott Ray, and a daughter Julie Joy (Stoll ) extended their love to the people of East Africa. It was under another winter sky in January of 1980 that the Martins boarded a plane bound for Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was in the Mara that Ray met his age-mate and brother Jackson Ole Teleo, and they joined Benson Shibangi. These two
The Martins, now a team of 4, having added a son, Scott Ray, and a daughter Julie Joy (Stoll ) extended their love to the people of East Africa. It was under another winter sky in January of 1980 that the Martins boarded a plane bound for Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was in the Mara that Ray met his age-mate and brother Jackson Ole Teleo, and they joined Benson Shibangi. These two men and others joined the Ray and Nina partnership to lead a dynamic, varied ministry of health clinics, churches, a Bible College and even a cheese factory. This ministry today shines brightly under the African skies, in the form of schools and orphanages and vibrant, empowered Churches.
In Loving Memory of Pastor Ray Martin
During the blustery North Dakota winter of 1988 the Churches of the United Methodist and the communities of Mandan, Steele, and Arthur began to receive a blessing that lasted over 17 years. The team of Ray and Nina, with the ever present collaboration of Scott and Julie, came home again. Pastor Ray brought his gentle touch to the pastoral care and community leadership of these towns.
"Under another winter sky in '67 Ray entered into a life long partnership with the smartest, most beautiful, kindest, strongest, wisest, loving and lovable woman he could find, Nina Patrie."
How many babies were held in Ray's hands? How many hands did he bring together in marriages? How many hands did he hold and later lovingly mold as they took their last breath?
Ray loved people well in each season of life, but it was in the winter of people's lives that Ray connected best. He studied and explored how we humans transitioned from this life to the next and then guided people through. Serving his final years of ministry as a Hospice Chaplain, Ray brought a calm to the wintery storms of people's lives, not only with the patients but the staff as well. He brought joy in the midst of sadness, he planted life in the midst of death. In the winter of 2016, he left this planet and our lives here better than he found them. Ray loved life, but he loved to love life with others, especially those grandkids Dominic, Josiah, Nate, Dan, and Anya!
Ray also had an especially close relationship with his nieces and nephews who love him as much as he loved them.
Ray was always looking to include one more, to side with the underdog, to feed the hungry, care for the planet, to help us and feed us so we could grow. Ray's signature gesture was not a finger to hush nor a wag of disapproval, it was a thumb's up of affirmation, of encouragement, of HOPE. The family hopes to extend this legacy and invites all to join them to trust too much, care too much, live too much...because that is just the right amount.
Rather than sending flowers, plant some. If you want to express your appreciation through a gift, please do so through one of the following: Hospice House, Anderson University, or plant a tree with one of several wonderful organizations.
But most of all bring others in from the cold and hug them tight beneath the Winter's Sky.
Message from the TTCA Board
The Board extends condolences to its President, Nina Martin, on the passing of her husband, Ray.
His ready smile and positive outlook will be remembered by everyone he met. His life will be celebrated in a service at Broadway United Methodist Church in Council Bluffs at 2:30 PM on Friday, December 16th. Family will receive friends and family at the church starting at 1pm.
Rather than sending flowers, Ray would love if you planted some. Memorials suggested to one of his passions: Josie Harper Hospice House in Omaha, Anderson University, Anderson IN, or plant a tree with one of several wonderful organizations.
Arbor Cremation Society 2819 125th Ave., Ste 367 Omaha NE 68144 402-393-0319