Jonathan R. Martin

Service Information

A celebration of Jon’s life will be held October 13, 2023, 1:30 -4:00pm at the Bellingham Cruise Terminal 355 Harris Avenue Bellingham, WA 98225 

Under the light of an August super blue moon, our dear friend Jon set sail for another world.

Though born in Winnipeg Manitoba and raised in Oxnard California, we tried not to hold that against him.  Because, let’s be honest, who knew when a strapping young Jon Martin moved to Washington as a VISTA volunteer, we would ultimately be better people for it.  He lived a life dedicated to community service and black turtle neck shirts – which he wore with pride way before it was cool and, quite possibly, well after.

Jon was highly regarded as the Weatherization and Home Repair manager at Blue Mountain Action Council in Walla Walla.  The Opportunity Council was very fortunate to find Jon in 2006 when he was seeking wetter climes.  He not only managed various construction projects and oversaw maintenance of Opportunity Council facilities, but also taught courses in lead safe work practices, fall protection and healthy homes for the OC’s Building Performance Center until his retirement in 2021.  After coordinating a major kitchen upgrade at Faith Lutheran church for the Maple Alley Inn, Jon became an every Wednesday food preparation volunteer helping to serve the hungry in our community.  He was also a dedicated and longtime board member for Unity Care NW community health center.

Jon was often accompanied by his faithful Dachshunds - first Oscar and Max, then finally the legendary (and sometimes quite stinky) Elvis. Each dog taking their turn as the grand master of the Fairhaven Doxie walk, which was held on the 2nd weekend in June, organized and promoted by Jon for 17 years, just for fun. 

He was active in AA and helped many people find peace.

An avid sailor and member of the Corinthian Yacht Club, Jon was well known in his section of the marina for always doing something on the “Pearl”, an older Yankee 30 that required all his skills and most of his wallet.

Whether it was the opening of the crabbing season, sailing up to the Nanaimo blues festival, smoking fish, supporting live music, helping on a project or sitting down for a cup of coffee with a friend, Jon found enjoyment in the moment.  He led a full and wonderful life.

Dearly loved by his family and a massive legion of friends, Jon will be missed and always remembered for his big heart and smile.

Jon is survived by his Sisters Meridee Wilson and Beth Leuenberger, brother Jerry Martin and a whole heap of wiener dogs who don’t know how good a friend they could have had.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Whatcom Hospice, a wonderful organization and facility that made Jon’s final days peaceful and comfortable or the Cancer society, research for a cure. 



From Caitlin McDiarmid

I only just met Jon this summer through his friends Mickey and Henry. He was a very lovely (and funny) gentleman. I wish we could have had more time to be friends. Jon, hope there’s never ending crab, and just the right wind in your sails where you are.

Sep 13, 2023

From Steve Moss

I first met Jon in the late 1970’s when he moved to Walla Walla shortly after graduating from San Diego State University. As a Vista volunteer assigned to Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC ) Jon was charged with setting up the first downtown farmers market. The market eventually became so successful it is now a permanent part of our community. Jon and I became friends and work colleagues for the next 2 1/2 decades.
Jon was open to new challenges while at BMAC ranging from designing youth employment activities to securing financing for special needs housing for hundreds of low income individuals.
Jon and I also shared a passion for vintage cars. Jon loved to fix up 1960’s era Corvairs. Always a tinkerer and fixer he made things better in his work and private life.
Steve Moss

Sep 15, 2023

From Shanon Hardie

I had the pleasure of getting to know Jon while he served for many years on our Unity Care NW Board of Directors. Jon was dedicated and passionate about our Mission. He served selflessly and contributed greatly to our organization's growth and success. He offered great insights, expertise and perspectives. Most importantly though, he was an amazing human being. A glass half full guy that led with caring, compassion, a bright smile and fantastic sense of humor. He brought joy to every room he was in. I am a better person for having known Jon. I will be out of town during his celebration of life so I wanted to make sure to let his family know the impact he had on our organization and on me. He will be greatly missed. Sending my thoughts and sympathies to those that knew and loved Jon.

Sep 18, 2023

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