Michael D. Martin, 71, of Cerro Gordo, IL passed away with his family by his side on Friday, August 20 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Funeral services will be Friday, August 27, 2021, at 10 a.m., with visitation from 5:00 to 8:00pm on Thursday, August 26, 2021, at Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Home, Decatur, IL. Interment will follow the services at the Cerro Gordo Cemetery, Cerro Gordo, IL.
Michael was born on January 12th, 1950 to Clifton F. and Georgianna (Kropp) Martin. He was the youngest of nine children. He married Linda Conley on August 29th, 1971 in Cerro Gordo. They were nine days short of celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.
He is survived by his wife Linda Conley Martin; daughter Jenny Martin Godinez (Vincent) of Elgin, IL; son Blake Martin (Maggie) of Cisco, IL; grandsons Myles Martin Godinez of Elgin, IL and Riley Michael Martin of Cisco, IL; granddaughter Lillian Kate Martin of Cisco, IL; brother Roger Martin (Nancy) of San Antonio, TX; sisters Jane Stogsdill of Peru, IN, Judy Durbin, and Linda Tirpak (Mick) of Cerro Gordo, IL; sisters-in-law Valeria Martin and Nancy Born Martin of Cerro Gordo, IL, and Lisa Forbes (Rod) of Oakley, IL; brothers-in-law Bill Conley of Cerro Gordo, IL, Darrel Conley (Carrie) of Creal Springs, IL, and Gary Conley (Kris) of Hendersonville, TN; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Clifton Jr, Harold, and Donald Martin; sister Dorothy Richardson; brothers-in-law Claude Stogsdill, Gene Durbin, and Raymond Richardson; sisters-in-law Carolyn Conley and Norma Martin; father-in-law Virgil Conley, and mother-in-law Virginia (Teeny) Conley.
Memorials can be made in Mike’s honor to the Cerro Gordo Youth League or The Brethren Church of Cerro Gordo (209 S. Jefferson).
Mike graduated from Cerro Gordo High School in 1968. He graduated with an associate’s degree from Danville Community College. He received his bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University in 1974 and went on to obtain his master’s degree from Illinois State University.
Mike and Linda were blessed with two children, Jenny Martin Godinez and Blake Martin. They were doubly blessed with three grandchildren, Myles Martin Godinez, Lillian Kate Martin, and Riley Michael Martin. They became the joy of Mike’s life.
Mike was a junior high teacher and coach in the Cerro Gordo School District for 32 years. He also taught one year at Deer Creek – Mackinaw School District. Mike loved his students, and always wanted the best for them, keeping in touch with many students years after graduation. As a retired teacher, he was still involved with the school as a behind-the-wheel driver’s education instructor and a substitute teacher.
Mike served the Cerro Gordo Brethren Church in many capacities (a deacon, moderator, teacher, and trustee) for 60 years. Ever faithful to the mission school in Lost Creek, Kentucky, he made 38 mission trips to help with projects concerning the school. He loved his church and his church family.
Mike was involved in many activities. He operated Mike’s Custom Painting for 25 years. He coached junior high basketball and track and assisted with high school football. He coached baseball, softball, and football for the Cerro Gordo Youth League. He was an IHSA referee for both basketball and football. He was a huge fan of fastpitch softball, serving as manager and general manager for Cerro Gordo teams and the Decatur Pride team. He was a longtime member of the Cerro Gordo Lion’s Club.
Mike was the recipient of many awards. He was a member of the Illinois ASA Hall of Fame, Cerro Gordo Youth League Hall of Fame, and teacher of the year at Cerro Gordo Schools.
Mike’s hobbies included gardening, he loved the San Francisco Giants, and to keep peace in the family, he also rooted for the Cubs. He loved fishing and took many trips to Canada, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri and Mississippi to fish. While waiting for Linda to retire, Mike wrote and published three books. He was currently working on a book of fishing stories, having gathered a multitude of stories from family and friends. He had a few of his own to share as well!
Another passion of Mike’s was traveling. After he and Linda’s retirement they took many trips and made wonderful memories. They were well on their way to their goal of visiting all 48 contiguous states.
Mike became critically ill in 2006 and spent the rest of his life on oxygen. However, he didn’t let that define him. He remained very active in his family, church, and community up to the day he passed.
Mike was an inspiration to his family, co-workers, students, and friends. His golf cart was well-known in Cerro Gordo as he would drive it in the evenings, stopping to visit with family and friends along the way. He could often be found down at Gordy Park watching games and talking. He loved following his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews in their sporting endeavors. He was proud of each and every one of them. Even though his health kept him from doing everything that he loved, he never let it stop him from doing everything that he possibly could, pushing himself to the limit.
The scripture that most depicts Mike’s life and passing is Matthew 11:28. “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”
Many thanks go to University of Kentucky Hospital and staff who went above and beyond with their care and support and the four bystanders at Cracker Barrel (a nurse, a corpsman, and two police officers – we wish we knew their names) who stopped and performed CPR in the rain. Thanks also to John Felter and Dick Marvin who stayed in the lobby at the hospital for hours waiting until family arrived. Thanks to Dr. Khan, the Lung Center, Prairie Cardio, Dr. Bag at University of Chicago Hospital, and Mary Ellen at University of Chicago Hospital. Thanks also to Pastor Terry Leach and Pastor Hank Wilson, and The Brethren Church family.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family in care of Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Homes at www.brintlingerandearl.com.