Dr. Thomas Herman Martin was born in Chatham on the 18th of October, 1934. He was the eldest of 3 children born to Lawrence Victor “Tony” Martin and the former Emily Dora Hilda Sperling. He had 2 younger sisters, Sandra and Dianne. Dr. Martin’s father was an accomplished musician who studied voice for a number of years after WWI in Italy and England. Mr. Martin performed with an opera company in Chicago, prior to returning to Wallaceburg to pursue a career with the Schultz Die Casting Company. Several years prior to his death in 1958, Mr. Martin donated the site for the present day Sydenham District Hospital in Wallaceburg.
Dr. Martin received his primary education in Wallaceburg at Central Public School and he attended Wallaceburg District High School.
Dr. Martin enrolled at the former Ontario Agricultural College (the present University of Guelph) for his undergraduate studies. He then attended medical school at the University of Western Ontario, graduating in 1964. Throughout his years of education, Dr. Martin played rugby and football, and in between high school and university, he played Senior B Lacrosse for the Wallaceburg Red Devils.
Dr. Martin completed a one year internship in Detroit at Grace Hospital in 1965. After deciding he wanted to specialize, he did a four year residency in ear, nose and throat from 1965 to 1969, at Victoria Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ontario. Upon returning to Chatham-Kent in 1970, Dr. Martin opened an otolaryngology practice, at 11 Grand Avenue West in Chatham.
Always very dedicated to his community, Dr. Martin was an ardent Mason, involved with the Chatham Valley Scottish Rite of Free Masonry, and he was a past member of the Rotary Club of Chatham. Dr. Martin served as the President of the Chatham Rotary Club from 1977-1978. In addition, he was a member of the Hospitallers of St. John and he was active in the Alumni Associations for both the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Guelph. Dr. Martin served as the President of the Kent County Medical Society in 1977 and 1978. Dr. Martin is also remembered for his generosity. He would regularly sponsor area secondary students through anonymous scholarships to help offset tuition and other university costs.
In his spare time, Dr. Martin enjoyed the outdoors and loved to garden, hunt, and fish. He liked to spend time at his cottage, and boating on Mitchell’s Bay. He was an avid collector; and had extensive collections of stamps, fine wines, Canadian Eskimo Art and Canadian military memorabilia.
Dr. Martin died on the 29th of November, 2006. Dr. Martin was buried at Riverview Cemetery in Wallaceburg. He is survived by his children; Dr. Lawrence Victor Martin (Brandy), Dayton Alex Martin (and grandson Connor), Scott T.R. Martin, Carolyn Martin (and grandson Thomas Martin), Emily Gail Martin (and granddaughter Claire Gunsar) and Jane Martin.
*Dr. Martin’s father Lawrence Victor Martin served in WWI and was wounded in France.