Glenn Edward Martin “Captain Skip”
A few minutes after ringing in his 69th birthday on April 18, 2018, Glenn Edward Martin (“Captain Skip”) died at home. Born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, Skip proudly loved he was born on the day of Paul Revere’s ride, his birthdate’s claim to fame. His wife Claudia, children Trapper and Angel, son-in-law Shane, and sister Nancy were surrounding him in his Lake Martin home he proudly rebuilt for his family’s enjoyment.
When any conversational question arose, Skip quickly emphasized he was certainly correct since he graduated from Quaker Valley High School! He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Edinboro University in 1971. He served in the Army for three years in Germany, where he and Claudia Steele met. Immediately they fell in love and knew they would be married. After 45 years, they continued saying, “We complete each other like two sides of a coin, melded together, knowing and fulfilling each other’s needs every day.”
After traveling the U.S.A. then back in Claudia’s hometown of West Point, GA, they were blessed in marriage. There they were lovingly rewarded with two exquisite, not too shabby…expensive kids. Skip earned a Master’s of Business Degree from Auburn University (a little-known fact since he had vigorously adopted the Steele family’s die-hard allegiance to the Georgia Bulldogs). He helped grow the family business, Skinner Furniture stores, served on multiple boards, and opened a second furniture business with H.E. and Caroline Steele. Living in West Point for more than 30 years, they made friends all over the Valley.
Always the consummate host and excellent listener, Skip remembered shared jokes, laughs and stories. By repeating punch lines and phrases, Skip demonstrated his talent for making others comfortable. He created strength in everyone he knew, never disappointed anyone with his loyalty and insightful thoughtfulness, all while having an unusual sensitivity to the feelings of all.
Kicking back with his feet up was definitely not his plan for retirement. After moving to Lake Martin, Skip declared himself the full-time “Mayor” of their peninsula, where he mastered the fine art of packing a cooler, driving the boat for water sports and teaching kids how to firmly and properly shake hands. Skip and Claudia warmly welcomed many visitors to the lake, though there was barely a soul escaping the Captain’s infamous lists of current projects. Anyone staying over knew they needed “project clothes” in addition to boating/swim attire, towels, sheets and PJs.
Skip quickly adapted to his new lake community, making friends at local restaurants, keeping abreast of the latest news, the construction around Lake Martin, of changes in the Dadeville, AL area, and ogling the big boats at Chimney Rock. His morning ritual quickly became “The Coffee Club.” They were simply morning sessions of cohorts competing to give each other a hard time and catching up on Paces Point’s news. He started a new football league with friends from Lake Martin and the Valley area plus he added younger blood to the league with his daughter, Angel. The league ended with him as this year’s reigning champion, which he was quick to remind everyone in every discussion.
The master of many designs, Skip continuously updated and improved their home, The Land of Aaahs. Skip would start some ventures and ask forgiveness later from Co-Captain Claudia. She will now take the reins to complete them, as they have built an ongoing game plan together.
The entire family has deep ties to Lake Martin. In the early days their lake home consisted of many bunk beds and couches slept on to maximize a weekend of fun for many blossoming, life-long friends. These weekends were so enjoyed, some of their comrades later moved to the lake as well. Another event Skip claimed to own was a bi-annual, multi-generational reunion with the Steadham family, dubbed the “Gatheration”, now including four generations. Skip played an enormous part as host; it’s truly a tradition unique and special to everyone noodling around on lake-time.
Skip’s massive stroke on the evening of Halloween, 2017 was immediately detected by Claudia. She ensured he was taken by helicopter directly from the lake to the UAB hospital in Birmingham where immediate treatment and surgery reversed the damage. Unfortunately, its’ cause was pancreatic cancer, which he fought tooth and nail for five months.
As the Captain said around friends and family each night before sneaking off to bed, “I’ll be right back...”
Skip’s family greatly appreciates the love, food and amazing memories shared over the last months. Skip disliked (but wanted to attend) funerals and memorial services of loved ones. He therefore made us strictly promise to honor his wish in not having a gathering of friends. In lieu of flowers or a service, the family asks friends, desiring to honor Skip’s life, donate to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network; they have aggressive goals to reduce the impact of this horrid disease. Go directly to www.pancan.org and use the “Donate Now” button in the upper right corner. Check “This is an honor or memorial gift” and input the name “Glenn or Skip Martin” in the Honoree fields.
An incomparable gift our family will cherish and enjoy moving ahead is the sharing of your favorite stories about Skip. They may be emailed to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
He is survived by his wife Claudia Steele Martin and companion Zazu; son, Trapper Martin and husband, Shane Smartt; daughter, Angel Martin Barker and husband, Jason; three grandchildren: Alex, Hayley and Addison (whom he shared a birthday and fondly referred to as “Harriet” just to make her laugh), his sister, Nancy Martin; mother-in-law, Caroline Skinner Steele, wife of late West Point Mayor H.E. Steele. His parents, Elmer and Grace Martin, preceded him in death.
Please visit his Memorial Tribute page at www.johnsonbrownservicefh.com to leave a condolence for his family, share a memory of Skip, or to light a Remembrance Candle in his memory.
Johnson Brown-Service Funeral Home of Valley is directing.
Donations may be made to:
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach CA 90266