Charles Abramson Martin, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col., retired, flew his final mission to be with the Lord on July 16, 2012. A memorial service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1413 S. Union Ave., at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 21, 2012, with internment following in South Park Cemetery.
Born in Plain Dealing, La., April 5, 1916, Charlie first came to Roswell in 1937, where he graduated from New Mexico Military Institute in 1939, married Nelwyn Williams in 1940 after pilot training, and had an outstanding career as a military officer for 28 years, including flying combat in World War II. A painting of one of his bombing missions over Hamburg, Germany, in 1944, hangs in the library at NMMI.
While at NMMI, he participated in football, basketball, and track, where his record in the high hurdles stood for years. After graduating from NMMI, his 28 years of service took him to nine states and overseas to England, Panama, Morocco, Japan and Vietnam.
Charlie’s first assignment at Walker Air Force Base in 1961 was to manage the installation of the 12 missile sites around Roswell. After serving a year in Vietnam, he returned to Walker to help decommission the base and retired here in 1967.
Over several years, he and Nelwyn sponsored 25 Vietnamese war refugees to become American citizens. Many still reside in Roswell.
For more than 50 years, he was a tireless supporter for Trinity United Meth-odist Church and the Midday Lions Club, where he served as president for several years and helped raise money for children’s eyeglasses. Since 2003, he had been a multiple medal winner in the New Mexico and National Senior Olympics, where he won 11 gold medals in shuffleboard, receiving the Senior Olympics Spirit Athlete Award for Roswell in 2008.
Last summer he won the silver medal in shuffleboard at nationals.
He is survived by son Charles E. Martin and wife Patty, of Los Alamos; son Larry N. Martin, of Roswell; son Michael A. Martin (Roswell High School 1962) and wife Nancy, of Johnstown, Colo.; son William A. Martin (Roswell High 1966) and wife Kimberly, of Prosper, Texas; and daughter Betty Martin (Roswell High 1968), of Seattle. He leaves 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Nelwyn; and sisters, Edith Draper, of Louisiana, and Marie Fuller and Maurine Riordan, both of Roswell.
In lieu of flowers, the Martin family asks that donations be sent in his name to Trinity United Methodist Church, 1413 S. Union Ave., Roswell, NM 88201.
Friends may offer their condolences online at lagronefuneralchapels.com
Arrangements are under the direction of LaGrone Funeral Chapel.