The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

Ben E. Martin

 


Ben Eldridge Martin, 79, passed away Wednesday, April 25, 2018, in Henderson, Nev., with his sister Doris and cousin Carolyn by his side, after a long battle with cancer.

A celebration of Ben’s life will be held at The Pitstop, 1600 25th NE, Black Eagle, Mont., on Saturday, May 18, at 11 a.m. Remembrances may be made to Peace Hospice, Great Falls, Mont.

Ben was born March 4, 1939, in Roy, Mont., to parents George and Helen (Larsen) Martin. He attended Roy schools until he joined the Navy at the age of 16. After discharge, he returned to Montana and married Jo Ann Lillegard in 1962, and they had daughter Tammy in 1963. Ben and Jo Ann divorced in 1965.

Ben met Alice Sundberg Lamb while they were working at Gordons in Great Falls, and they spent the rest of their lives together. They operated several restaurants, including the Dutchman in Great Falls and had a steel building construction business. In the 1980s, Ben operated heavy equipment for several construction contractors in Great Falls. On the offseason, he worked as a ranch hand in Judith Basin. During this time, they lived in Limestone Canyon near Raynesford, Mont., in a home that Ben built.

In 1993, he and Alice moved to St. Marie, Mont., where Ben became the foreman for Montana Aviation Research Company, retiring in 2007. He was very proud of the work he did in support of Boeing’s flight test airplane programs, and very thankful for the many friendships he made with fellow employees.

Ben was an outstanding cook. His pies were always demanded at family get-togethers. He knew how to grill a steak to perfection and made chokecherry jelly and syrup (his favorite) every year. He and Alice had a large garden at their home in Glasgow, Mont., growing all kinds of vegetables and raspberries. Ben was also a gifted artist and accomplished leather worker. He made leather belts, pictures and rifle scabbards using his own designs.

Ben was an avid fisherman and hunter. He and Alice loved to camp and fish in streams and lakes around Montana. They also enjoyed gambling at all the local casinos and especially loved trips to Las Vegas. Ben was also a big Seattle Mariners and Seahawks fan.

After Alice passed away in 2017, Ben went to live in Big Fork, Mont., with stepdaughter Deann. When the snow started, Ben went south to Henderson to live with his sister Doris. They had a lot of fun together, reminiscing about growing up, casino hopping and going out to dinner.

Ben is predeceased by his parents; wife Alice; and brother Leaon “Buzz.”

Ben is survived by three sisters, Georgia Smedley, of Lake Elsinore, Calif., Doris Von Kleeck, of Henderson, and Marie (Chuck) Ridgeway, of Benchland, Mont.; cousin Carolyn Askins, of Stanford, Mont.; daughter Tammy Green; three stepsons, John (Mary) Lamb, of Fort Peck, Mont., Gene (Meylinda) Lamb, of Great Falls, and Mike Lamb, of Great Falls; two stepdaughters, Debra Waters, of Meridian, Idaho, and Deann Lamb, of Ferndale, Mont.; 18 grandchildren; and 12 great- grandchildren.

 

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