Lt. Greg Philip Martin, 37, died Jan. 17, 2009, in San Diego from complications resulting from cancer. On Christmas Eve, he was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer, which spread quickly throughout his body. At his passing he was surrounded by his family including his mother, Susan Martin, and stepfather, Richard Broom, both of Pagosa Springs; his new wife, Shannon, and his brother, Gary; and many friends, mostly Navy buddies with whom he served.
Greg is lovingly remembered by his family and friends as a wonderful son, dear brother, beloved husband, cherished nephew and loyal friend. His zest for life energized everyone who came in contact with him.
He was a Navy man through and through, having joined in August 1992. He served his country in many parts of the world including Bangkok, Singapore and Iraq. Most recently, he was assigned to the USS Ronald Reagan, well known as the latest and greatest nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier on active duty.
A tall, handsome man who was 6 feet 4 inches tall, Greg often towered over his colleagues in terms of his talents as well as his height. One of his Navy colleagues remembers teasing Greg that when he served in Korea, he was easily the tallest person in the whole country.
Greg was born Oct. 12, 1971, in Manchester, Conn. He was an ROTC midshipman at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque where he was awarded a B.A. in English and psychology. He later earned a master’s degree in systems analysis through the Navy. Following in their mother’s footsteps, Greg and his brother Gary became avid golfers, both single-digit handicappers. They frequently came to Pagosa Springs to visit their mother and stepfather Richard Broom, and often played in the annual two-man best-ball summer tournament at the Pagosa Springs Golf Club.
From the time he was a young boy in Little League, Greg was an enthusiastic baseball player. He also greatly enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and playing word games like Scrabble, both also favorites of both his mother and father.
In addition to his mother, brother and stepfather, Greg is survived by his wife Shannon, whom he married in San Diego on Jan. 11 of this year; his uncle James P. Thomas of Philadelphia, and many Navy colleagues and good friends around the world. He was predeceased by his father, John Philip Martin, who died in 1995. The family especially wants to thank Greg’s commanding officer Dave Dry for his many kindnesses to Greg and his family during Greg’s illness.
In honor of Greg, the family asks that contributions be made to the American Cancer Society or to CaringBridge, a free nonprofit Web site that supports and connects loved ones during critical illnesses. To see Greg’s information and/or donate to this site, go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/gregpmartin.
A memorial service celebrating his life will be held Friday, Jan. 21 in San Diego. Friends are planning a local tribute to Greg later in the spring, when his mother’s summer golfing friends return to Pagosa Springs.