Obituary of Wendell F. Martin
Wendell Francis “Pop” Martin, 95, was escorted by angels to heaven on May 21, 2023, with his family at his side. He is now reunited with his lifelong love, Erma Grace (Vernooy) Martin, whom he married on September 18, 1948, and had a long and happy sixty-eight-year marriage. Erma predeceased him on January 1, 2017.
Wendell was born on June 10, 1928, the first child of Wendell Lincoln Martin and Elizabeth (Sackett) Martin, and grew up on the family farm, Prairie Hill Farm, on MacArthur Hill Road, Bloomville. Wendell started school in a one room schoolhouse on MacArthur Hill and attended school in Bloomville and graduated from the newly built South Kortright Central School in 1946, where he met the love of his life, Erma. While in school, he played baseball and basketball for the South Kortright Rams, earning a baseball scholarship to SUNY Morrisville, where he played both sports. He graduated from SUNY Morrisville in 1948 with an associate degree in Agricultural Engineering.
After college, Wendell started farming on Prairie Hill with Erma and his father and Uncle Lloyd Martin. He was a chicken farmer for the first two years before buying his lifelong home, McMurdy Brook Farm, on McMurdy Brook Road, Hobart. He started a small dairy farm and over the next sixty years expanded the herd to over 150 animals, and made numerous improvements to his farm, adding silos, barns, machine sheds, and improving land with diversion ditches, tiling fields and planting of trees. He received numerous awards for his conservation efforts on his farm and was 1954 Farmer of Year. He was also the last generation to farm with horses, he sold his horses in 1953 and purchased a WD-45 Allis-Chalmers tractor from Foote’s in Hobart, which he still owns today.
He never truly retired from farming after selling the cows in 2008, he continued to farm as a hay farming selling hay. He also liked driving around the farm with his great grandson Garrett in his gator.
Wendell was also a good neighbor and friend willing to help when someone needed it. He was also active in his community; he served as a Director on the Delaware County Farm Bureau board. He also served as Kortright assessor, councilmember, and supervisor.
His great joy was his family. He would often play baseball with his grandchildren and great grandchildren, gave them rides on tractor or in his gator, or build play houses and barns from his natural talent as a carpenter. Wendell often would spend time reading with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. In his later years, he liked watching Sunday afternoon football, FOX News, and enjoyed Bill O’Reilly and Tucker Carlson particularly. He also enjoyed westerns and comedies.
Wendell was predeceased by his parents and siblings: Betty, Frank, James, David, Stan, Jerry and Donny.
He is survived by his son, Edwin W. Martin (Marie), daughter Jacquelyn A. Cook (Rich), of South Kortright and his grandchildren grandson Duane Martin, granddaughters Stephanie Martin (Kevin Sanford), Michelle Sicari (Sal), Jessica Cook, and Victoria Sveda (Mike). He is also survived by great grandchildren Garrett Olsen (Megan Fallon), Emma Sicari, Lexi Sobers, Ava Mattice and Logan Sveda. He is also survived by sister Jeanne (Martin) Pittenger of Seattle, Washington, and cousin Sally Whitney of Stamford along with many cousins, nieces and nephews.
The family would like to extend their appreciation and thanks to the compassion, excellent and professional care the staff at O’Connor Hospital showed Wendell in his final days.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given in Wendell’s name to St. Jude Hospital or O’Connor Hospital in Delhi.
Calling hours will be on Friday, June 2, 2023 from 4-7PM at MacArthur Funeral Home, 15 Buntline Drive, Stamford, NY. A Celebration of Life will be at 11AM on Saturday, June 3 at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Riverside Cemetery in Bloomville.