Cover photo for Mike Martin's Obituary
Mike Martin Profile Photo
1953 Mike 2021

Mike Martin

December 7, 1953 — August 1, 2021

Our dear Mike Martin (officially named, John Michael Martin) passed away at CRMC in Jefferson City on Sunday, August 1, 2021, after losing a valiant battle against COVID-19. He was 67. We feel at peace that Mike can now rejoice with the angels and all the musicians in heaven.

Mike was born December 7, 1953, in Greeley, Colorado to Thomas "Clyde" and Dorothy Martin. He was a "surprise" baby, born several years after his next oldest sibling, Carole Alley, and his older brother, now deceased, Thomas "David" Martin. He is survived by his sister, Carole Alley and members of her family: her husband Les, Carole's son, Jerry Alley (Kim), Jerry's daughter Sienna, and Carole's daughter, Chari Galer (Troy), and Chari's two girls, Madison (born on Mike's birthday!), and Jordan. Mike was a wonderful stepfather to his wife, Kimberley's two children: Tara LeAnne Park (Chris) and Wayne Matthew Agerton, for whom none of us considered him "step". He was truly their Dad, through and through, in every way that matters. When Tara married Christopher Park, Mike gladly welcomed Chris to the family and loved him as another son. The youngest addition to the family is Hogan Christopher Auryn Park, Mike's one and only grandson, born prematurely on July 12, 2019, and Hogan was the greatest joy of Mike's life.

Mike grew up in Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico, depending on where his father's employment took them. Mike developed many lifelong friendships in Alamogordo, New Mexico, especially with his "brother by another mother", Bear Smith, whose family made us all honorary members when Mike and Bear reconnected several years ago, even inviting Mike to their family reunions. Mike and Bear spent their teens making music after Mike taught himself to play guitar. Mike loved singing and playing guitar from that time forward. Mike joined the Air Force in 1972 as a teenager. He'd decided to enlist because of his low draft number. In the Air Force, he learned medical pathology and laboratory skills that he put to good use after his honorable discharge in July 1976.

Mike's career roles included being a phlebotomist, pathology for an ER, a driver for Meals on Wheels, and he was a lab tech at Marion-Merrill Dow, among many things he did. After working for the University of Arizona hospital, he relocated to Kansas City, MO. Then, in the mid-90's, Mike decided he needed to learn computer skills with the medical field becoming more and more computerized. Mike enrolled in DeVry University, Kansas City, to study programming. This is where he met another lifelong friend, Professor Mark Long, and soon after that, his future wife, Kimberley. After he and Kimberley both graduated with a BS in Computer Information Systems, in February 1997, they were married August 15, 1998. Mike worked for the Ewing Kauffman Foundation immediately after graduation, and then DeVry asked him to teach full-time there, beginning the next chapter of his career. He had also earned a Master's in Information Systems Management. Mike taught computer and web development courses for DeVry University from 1999-2016. After retirement, he couldn't stay away from teaching so at the time of his death, he was teaching online courses for Park University.

Mike and Kimberley loved camping, and after several camping trips, asked themselves, "why not own our own land to camp on?" After purchasing acres of undeveloped timber land in Morgan County, Missouri in 1999, they became full-time residents of Stover, MO in 2001, once they moved on from being "tent people". Their nearest neighbor was John Thompson, who became a best friend like a brother to Mike. Mike always dreamt of building his own home, which he successfully accomplished with help from neighbors like John when more experience or more muscles were needed. He built the dwelling he and his wife call home, after first constructing a small two-story building that had a shop/garage on the lower part, and an office upstairs for Kimberley. When daughter Tara had a brain injury because of a vehicle striking her and she moved home in 2013, she moved into Kimberley's upstairs office (Tara called it "the nest"). Mike always had to have a project going on! He decided to build Tara and Wayne a duplex on his property so they could both always be assured of a place to call home. Chris, Tara, and Hogan moved into their side of the duplex last Fall, and Wayne moved into his side just recently. Mike was nearly able to fully complete that duplex project before he passed away. Mike has been a wonderful friend and neighbor, never met a stranger, and loved supporting the local community and businesses. If you are thinking of Mike and want to honor his memory, please pay it forward to someone else to brighten their day like he used to do for folks he knew at his local Changes N Time café.

Mike has played music as a guest with Bear's band in Alamogordo at the VFW and has had jam sessions with Bear Smith and family, Hyram Posey (a Nashville area friend), Junior Marriott one time as his home in Ava, and so many others (please forgive if a name was not called out that should have been). A heart dream of Mike's that came true in the months before he died was to play and sing locally. He was able to perform two gigs this year and loved every minute of those experiences and was scheduled for even more gigs that he just couldn't do because of his illness.

We thank you for your visits, cards, and support during this difficult time for our family. We would like to celebrate Mike's life with a combined local and online event to be held on August 15, 2021 (Mike's wedding anniversary). Details about the time and how to attend will be provided soon on social media. We want this celebration of Mike's life to be available to all family, friends, and prior students who wish to attend from Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas City, or anywhere else he's "made a friend" - as he was so good at doing, or who wants to watch a recording afterwards.

Mike, you will always live on in our hearts and memories.

A celebration of Mike's life will be 1:00 p.m. Sunday, August 15, 2021 at the Timber Ridge Winery south of Stover. Military honors will be presented at 1:30p.m.


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Celebration of Life Timber Ridge Winery Sunday, August 15, 2021 1:00 PM 5900 Fern Ridge Ln
Stover, MO 65078 Directions
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mike Martin, please visit our flower store.

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