Cover photo for "Mike" James Michael Martyn's Obituary
"Mike" James Michael Martyn Profile Photo

"Mike" James Michael Martyn

August 11, 1938 — May 23, 2022

This is the story of a life well-lived and a man whose motto was ‘be kind’.

James Michael "Mike" Martyn, 83, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 23, 2022 at StoryPoint in Chesterton, IN after a long illness with Multiple Systems Atrophy.

Mike was born on August 11, 1938 in Oshkosh, WI, to Jim and Blanche Martyn. He was a good Midwestern kid, proud of his perfect attendance record in Sunday School.

Mike received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and played saxophone in the UW marching band, most notably at the 1960 Rose Bowl. Afterwards, he proudly served in the United States Army until 1963 when he was honorably discharged.

Mike subsequently moved to Michigan and met Gayle, the love of his life and wife of 55 years, at a party in Ann Arbor and they were married at the Lutheran chapel there on August 26, 1967. He also began his 35+ year career at Burroughs and Unisys as a Systems Analyst and simultaneously earned his MBA in 1968 at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Mike never lost his passion for music, particularly jazz, and there was always music in the Martyn household, from Larry Elgart to the Hi-Lo’s, Beatles and Barry Manilow. Mike and Gayle enjoyed their season tickets at the Detroit Pops Coffee concerts with friends.

Always busy, even in semi-retirement, Mike built a local independent phone card business, appreciating meeting people from different cultures, and the diversity of the Detroit area. His pastimes included daily walks, travel, a semi-reluctant devotion to yard work, tennis, golf, and watching the Wisconsin Badgers whenever possible. Mike also served the Lutheran Church of the Master in Troy, MI as a parishioner and reader, continuing his life-long commitment to the Christian faith. He quietly dedicated a generous percentage of his income to the church and other charitable causes.

Most importantly, he loved sharing his passion for music, sport, and travel with his family and friends and was a role model for his children, exemplifying integrity and always sharing his great take on life with his understated humor.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Rev. Peter R. Martyn.

Mike is survived by his wife, Gayle Briggs Martyn; children, Lynn Michelle Martyn and Matthew (Andrea) James Martyn; two beloved grandchildren, Matteo James and Russet James; sister-in-law, Susan; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Cremation has taken place with Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, La Porte. Burial will take place at 11 a.m. CST (12 p.m. EST) on Monday, July 25, 2022 at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the family c/o Gayle Martyn, 2900 Monroe Street, La Porte, IN 46350 or to Lutheran World Relief

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