John Walter Martin, a Fountaintown native who traveled worldwide, made a life in two states and helped pioneer the use of solar energy, has died in Hawaii. He was 67.
Born Aug. 5, 1944, Martin grew up in Fountaintown and in 1962 graduated from The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tenn. He then earned his bachelor’s degree at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., in 1966 with a major in psychology.
Martin enrolled in graduate school at Tulane University, later transferring to the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. He earned a Masters in Psychology and an MBA.
By 1972 Martin had established a tax accounting practice and lived on the “big island” of Hawaii, while retaining a residence in Honolulu. On Hawaii, he bought land in remote areas and built rental houses that run on solar energy. He planted dozens of fruit trees and enjoyed occasional surfing into his 60s.
Martin visited Indiana twice each year, staying for weeks or months to manage his family’s corn and soybean farms. He converted an historic bank building in Fountaintown to a residence, eventually raising apples and other produce nearby.
Martin also traveled worldwide including the Far East, the Middle East, Central America, Europe, Mexico and the Galapagos.
Survivors include two siblings, James Martin (DPU ’65) of Knoxville, Tenn. and Judith Myer of Long Boat Key, Fla.; nephews Bruce Myer (DPU ‘80) of Sarasota, Fla. and Justin Martin of Palo Alto, Calif.; and a niece, Julia M. Murphy of San Francisco.
Authorities in Hawaii say Martin was discovered in early June after a fatal fall at a property he owned and was working to improve. Cremation will be followed by pending services in Fountaintown, where his parents, Walter and Helen Martin (DPU ‘34), are buried. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org