James (Jim) Charles Martin was born on April 25, 1932, in Erie, Pennsylvania, to Charles and Marcella Martin. He was the oldest of five children, with two brothers and two sisters. When he was 12, his family moved to Los Angeles, California. While there, he attended Mount Carmel High School and graduated in 1949. Soon after graduation, he joined the Navy and served in Guam during the Korean War as an Air Traffic Controller.
Prior to serving in Guam, Jim met the love of his life, Patricia (Pat), at St. Raphael’s Church in Los Angeles. On May 30th, 1953, they joined together in marriage, and thus began their legacy. Jim and Pat had 14 children; 9 boys and 5 girls. Jim became a businessman with a Renaissance man's interest in numerous ventures. Some of those businesses included a food truck, bookstore, stationary store, and then in 1977 he opened Martin Door, one of the first garage door companies in Orange County, which he ran with several of his children.
While exploring these various business ventures and raising his family, he developed an amazing faith and lived his life to serve God. And he did so with grace, compassion, joy and a very unique sense of humor.
Jim found great joy in serving others. He worked in many different ministries through his life – serving the poor, bereavement ministry, visiting prisoners, befriending the sick.
Everyone who knew him, knew he was a giving man, and that he would find a home for all the donations that came his way. He personally delivered donations of bread, food, clothes, and other items to those in need all over Southern California. The Orange County Catholic Worker was especially close to his heart, and a place and mission to which he dedicated countless hours. He worked closely with the Sisters of Mercy in Mexico, not only donating toys and clothes but also materials to help them house the homeless – literally. He would load up his truck with donations, and old garage doors – which he used to help build homes!
He was deeply involved with his church, Blessed Sacrament, running the churro booth at the festival for many years as well as the Christian Service program. He found his true calling in being a Eucharistic minister to the sick for over 40 years. While Jim loved all the work that he did, the gift of bringing Christ in the Eucharist to those too ill or unable to attend mass, was his greatest joy.
Jim lived his life giving. He was a loyal and faithful servant to God, dedicated to his wife, and adored his family. He is survived by his wife Patricia of 65 years, his 9 sons, 5 daughters, 8 daughters-in-law, 5 sons-in-law, 46 grandchildren, and 17.5 great-grandchildren.
His legacy will live on indefinitely within the hearts and memories of not only his family, but in all the lives of the countless people he encountered.
We know he is in his Father's arms, hearing the glorious words "Well Done!".
April 25, 1932- December 3, 2018
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Orange County Catholic Worker – Isaiah House in his honor. www.occatholicworker.org
If you are joining us for the Celebration of Life, please wear colorful funeral attire – “De Colores”.