Robert Jacob "Bob" Martin, 88, a lifetime Sunnyside resident, and farmer went to be with his Savior on Sunday, April 4, 2010.

Bob was born Dec. 20, 1921 in Sunnyside, the son of Jacob and Amelia (Lohrence) Martin.

Bob was raised in the Green Valley area and received his education at Wendell Phillips School. Bob grew up working on a farm with a team of horses.

He married Eileen M. Walker on Sept. 6, 1941 in Sunnyside. Following their marriage they made their home in Seattle and Portland, Ore. before returning to Prosser. Since 1943 the Martin family farmed in the Sunnyside area, starting with 40 acres and building up to 1,200 acres, in the Roza Irrigation District having raised asparagus, corn, rutabagas, peppermint, spearmint and sugar beets. In the late 1940s he purchased his first F-12 Farmall tractor. He loved harvesting mint and ran his mint still for 24 hours a day for many years harvesting his own mint and for many neighbors.

Bob was a hard worker and was well respected by those who worked for him. He hired entire families and some worked for him for more than 30 years. He respected his workers and treated all with fairness and dignity.

He loved his work as a farmer and was excellent at giving orders. His motto was dance on Saturday night- otherwise you are working, or resting to go back to work. He was a man on the go and would never miss the activities and fun at the Prosser States Day Parade or the Yakima County Fair.

Bob loved all holidays but truly cherished Christmas, he had a child-like spirit and was known to open up his presents before Christmas day and re-wrap them and act surprised upon opening them for a second time.

He enjoyed traveling in his motor home, hunting and fishing. Bob always had a spring in his step and loved a good dance on Saturday night.

He was a lifetime member of the Moose, Eagles and Lower Valley Elks Lodge.

Bob is survived by two daughters, Eileen June Martin- Voss and companion, Siegfried Ellwanger, both of Gig Harbor and Leta (Gary) Burns of Spokane; one son, Arnold Martin of Sunnyside; his grandchildren, Steve (Laura) Martin, Troy Martin, Rachelle (Preston) Bouma , Edward (Denice) Voss, Wayne Burns, Leanne Burns (Ronnie Hassett), Carey (Heather) Burns; great-grandchildren, Zachary and Kaelyn Voss, Jordan, Brittany, Briona and Jackie Burns, Joel and Alyssa Martin, Tyler and Peyton Bouma; and one great-grandson due in July of this year; his 16-year companion, Dorothea "Dot" Beck and her loving family; and four sisters, Helen Price, Katie Johnson, Alice "Lizy" Prescott, all of Sunnyside and Betty Booher of Port Angeles.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Amelia Martin; his wife, Eileen Martin 1993; two sisters, Amelia "Molly" Kleingartner and Elsie Mattingley; and an infant brother, Jacob Martin.

Viewing and visitation will be held Friday, April 9, 2010, from 2 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 10, 2010, from 8:30 a.m. until time of service at 10 a.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside, with burial to follow at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside.

Those wishing to honor his memory may contribute to Sun Terrace in Sunnyside. Memorials will go towards benefiting their activities department.

Those wishing to sign Bob's on line memorial book may do so at

Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside is in charge or arrangements.


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