Cover photo for Roy Martin's Obituary
Roy Martin Profile Photo
1917 Roy 2015

Roy Martin

October 25, 1917 — January 25, 2015

Memorial services will be on Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 1 pm at the valley Mortuary located at 950 Alpine Ln.

Roy Elsworth Martin was born to Charles Reed and Cora (nee Payne) Martin on October 25, 1917 at Daniel, Wyoming. Near the old Warren Bridge on the Green River. He was one of nine children, three daughters and six brothers. In the agricultural depression that followed the end of World War I, his parents lost their ranch at Bronx and in 1921 the family moved to Jackson Hole he spent the next 93 years there. When they moved to Jackson, his mother drove a truck with the families household goods through the Hoback Canyon while his father and oldest brother Robert took moved the livestock and a wagon up the Gros Ventre Road, which went all the way to Cora Wyoming at that time. Their first home in the Valley was on the Mose Giltner place in what is now the national Elk Refuge. Dad led a typical live of a ranch family at that time, by the time he was old enough to help he was involved in a wood cutting business. During the week his father would take teams up into the forest and snake out logs. On the weekends the entire family would help cut them in to suitable firewood lengths and then they would take them into town for sale. All of this work was done using teams of work horses so from his very earliest years he learned to work with and love horses. When he was a teenager Dad got a summer job working on a dairy farm which was just down stream from where the Jackson Lake Dam is now. He not only milked the cows but every morning he had to swim his wrangle horse out to an island in the Snake where the work teams were kept, he said he really didn't like that part of the job. After he graduating from high school he worked at various jobs on a number of ranches around the valley. In 1942 he was inducted into the US Army and spent the next three years in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. He took part in the landings at Anzio and Salerno. He was wounded during his tour of duty and earned a purple heart. he hardly ever talked about his wartime experiences but he did say that he never slept under a roof for three years, the closest he got was an army tent. After returning to the valley following the war he again worked for various ranches until 1950 when he was hired full time by the Peter Hansen. He would continue to work for the Hansen ranch for the next 50 + years. In 1951 he married his longtime friend Zelda Timmons. Zelda's first husband Stanley Klukan had been killed in an auto accident leaving her with two small children Mary and Gilbert. Soon afterward Zelda gave birth to the first of two sons Roy Reed in 1951 and Will Richard in 1958. Roy and Zelda became the herders for the Hansens Gros Ventre range and spent the next 20 + summers ranging the mountains checking on cattle, packing salt, fixing fence and all of the other chores involved with that job. Their kids all learned very early to ride, chase cows and fish. Dad was a very good fly fisherman and taught all of his kids to love it also. In fact there are several Lakes in the Gros Ventre that contain trout because Dad hauled them in on pack horses. He became a great packer and could and would pack almost anything. During his sixties Dad took on the job of a Wyoming State Brand Inspector. He continued that job as well as still working for the Hansens until his seventieth birthday. His last herding job was for Mary Mead and Liz Lockhart on their summer range at the Elk Ranch in Teton National Park. There he got to deal with not only the standard herding chores but also with hungry grizzlies and then wolves. After that he had to quit as he needed to help take care of Zelda. The last time I saw him on horse it was in the late summer of his 87th year. Even though he was retired he continued to spend the next few winter driving teams for the dinner rides at Teton Village. Dads last years were spent at his home with his granddaughter and caretaker Brandie Gernhart and her husband Danny and sons Tyler and Taylor. he continued to live at home until his passing and while his hearing deteriorated , and his general health gradually declined he was alert and aware until his final moments. During his last two years the highlight of his time was his great granddaughter Lakota Rose, he loved her with all of his heart and would immediately pick up whenever she appeared. Dad was preceded in death by his wife Zelda, mother, father, three sisters, four brothers and most of his dear friends, as well as many many greatly loved horses and dogs. He is survived by his sons Gilbert Klukan of Dillon Montana, Mary Peterson of Jackson, Roy Reed Martin of Laramie , and Will and his wife Cindy Martin of Cody. He is also survived by his grandsons Justin (Hanna) Peterson of Jackson, Jeremy and Ian Klukan of Dillon Montana and granddaughters Brandie (Danny ) Gernhart, Tara and Justine Peterson of Jackson, Brittany Martin of Texas and Brianna Martin of Washington state. He is also survived by this great grand children Taylor and Tyler Gernhart of Jackson and Lakota Rose Peterson of Jackson. With his passing comes the passing of the old Jackson Hole cowboys, so happy trails cowboy and we'll see you on the range.

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