James Howard Martin

PORTAGE  --  James Howard Martin was born on April 8, 1934 in Portage, Wisconsin’s First Ward.  He graduated Portage High School in 1952.  During high school, Jim received nine sports letters, with football being his most accomplished sport.

On June 5, 1954, he married Jane Patchin after Jane finished nursing school at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Milwaukee.  They had three children, Jeffrey Martin, Julie Lippert, (William “Lary”) and John Martin, (Connie).  Later, he married Joyce (Jerome) Martin on August 11, 1967 and they had one daughter, Jennifer Maurer (Warren).

Jim spent seven years on the Wisconsin State Patrol 1955-1963, where he held the distinction of being the first State Trooper assigned to the Governor’s office.  He became Governor Gaylord Nelson’s bodyguard. Following this, he was employed by Chevrolet Division of General Motors as Claim Director in Janesville from 1963-1968.  He was sometimes referred to as “Moose” Martin especially when his daughter called for him, as there was another James Martin employed referred to as “Mouse” Martin.  He gave twelve years with The Wisconsin National Guard 32nd Division spending time at Fort Lewis, Washington.  His army branch was active during The Berlin and Cuban Crisis.  He forged out on his own to start Martin Security & Investigations, Inc. for 43 successful years and conducted business in Wisconsin, Illinois and Tennessee.  Jim was a very organized man who paid attention to detail.  In addition to his Security business, Jim developed a hunting/fishing and golfing oasis outside of Portage for his clients, friends and family to enjoy.  He was always ready to listen to a new idea and even started his own trout raceway for a time.  Jim possessed an immense love of The Outdoors with great respect for nature and in his later years loved to sit out back his home in the sunshine watching the deer, wild turkeys and abundant birdlife.  He hired a neighbor to feed his birds daily when he could no longer do this.  He was involved in The Elk’s Lodge 675 in Portage as well as The American Legion which met every Wednesday for lunch together at Dino’s.  Jim was wealthy in friends and made good friendships an importance in his life.  Jim loved Wisconsin, The Green Bay Packers and treating others to a good time!  He looked forward to a grilled steak or pan fried Walleye and tomato juice with his beer.  Jim found God and The Briggsville United Methodist Church which helped him through some tough times in his later years.

Jim will be remembered for his kind and generous spirit who would come to the aide of someone in need quickly.  He cherished his children, grandchildren and special hunting dogs.  Jim was a wonderful storyteller to both his children and grandchildren, and grandson, Alexander always vowed to write a special dictionary filled with Grandpa Jim’s VERY unique and special words or phrases coined by Grandpa that made the younger generation smile!

Jim Martin is survived by his children, Julie (Dr. Lary) Lippert of Colorado Springs, CO, John (Connie) Martin of Sun Prairie, Jennifer (Warren) Maurer of Columbus, and Patricia Koch of DeForest;  grandchildren and many other relatives.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Joyce and his oldest son, Jeffrey whom was 43.

Memorial services will be held at Briggsville United Methodist Church on Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.

Gift donations may be made in his honor to The Briggsville United Methodist Church.

The Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family. 


For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)