Wilbur (Bill) Lincoln Michael Martin III died on 23 April 2021 of complications exacerbating his 18th year of Parkinson’s disease. He leaves behind his 40-year partner in adventure, Evelyn. A huge network of family, fans and supporters from Duncan MacArthur in Scotland in the East to Gareth, Fiona and Maddie Walker in Oregon out West, are left with thousands of funny and affectionate stories. Those stories define his life and Bill's wonderful impact on ours.
Born 2 October 1936, Bill was the namesake of Scottish and Irish immigrants to Chicago. As a result, he was the biggest of Chicago Cub and Notre Dame fans. Bill became the oldest brother and protector of Judy Bell, Lynn Howard and Charles, Mark and Mike Martin following the migration West to Inglewood California. He was the son of an early West Coast realtor-and-every-other-venture-before-its-time pioneer, Bill the 2nd and his wife June Hubbard Martin.
Bill attended Santa Monica City College as a gymnast before joining the Army for Basic Training at Fort Bliss, Texas. He was stationed in the Philadelphia Defense Area as an operator of the Nike-Ajax Surface-to-Air Missile System during the Korean Conflict. Bill fathered six children in eight years that he would later move from Surf City California to Schaumburg Illinois to Lake Fenton Michigan. Those children – and spouses -- Pam and T Mack, Vicki and Carl Lundquist, Donna and Jonathan Harper, Jennifer and Ramone Viramontes, Bill and Lisa Martin and Tone and Laura Martin -- would then contribute 12 grandchildren to the mix including Patrick and Caitlin Mack, Megan and Anthony Lundquist, Dominick, Dimitri and Damian Viramontes, Will Martin and Tony, Aiden, Jake and Ginger Martin.
Bill was a wine expert and alcohol importer who knew how to grow liquor sales through the biggest retailers, bars and distributors in the most regulated stores and states that Vons, Heublein, Allied Supermarkets and Domecq could find. Cointreau, Presidente, Arrow and many brands owe tens of thousands of cases to him. His work with Sauza earned nickname “Tequila Bill.” With short stints in Chicago and New York, Bill always kept a home in Plymouth or Irish Hills Michigan. He spent 40 years on a first date and lifelong marriage to Evelyn as the best thing that happened in each other's lives, sharing adventure and trading admiration well beyond what we all hope for. The couple left Illinois and Michigan behind for Miami when Bill began his Latin and South American Duty-Free work. This caused several relatives’ families to follow him to the warmth of Florida. Ted, Beth and Sean Moscynski arrived behind Francis and the late Tommy McNabb as well as Carol McNabb and Dave Rice and eventually Shannon Bell, Robert Drapeau and his late sister Judy Martin. There, Bill became a neighborhood and community leader; a church elder at Chris and Karen Coppolo’s City Church and an avid traveler to visit his ever-extending family.
In Florida, he began his long battle with Parkinson’s and its later mutation to Lewy Body Dementia. Even as he battled the good fight, his children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, in laws and friends discovered he humbly became one of their most dependable confidants and secret supporters. The Florida and extended family returned the favor by providing care and comfort in his last battles. Not one stem of flower can be as reassuring to Bill or his family as one dollar of donation in his name to https://tribute.michaeljfox.org/tribute-page.php?id=1972&np=true .
Death is too difficult to handle, by family member, spouse, friend, acquaintance, or just curious reader. Wilbur (Bill) Martin III’s death could pass by your skimming eyes of the reader or web surfer. So, we encourage you to post a memory of Bill Martin III or – if you didn’t know him personally – your own patriarch in the comment area below. Your time, thoughts and smile of appreciation will capture the best of him for moments to come when we will miss having him here.