It is with sadness I bring news to you today of a longtime operator’s passing. Though it’s been years since I spoke to him — and then only briefly — the memory of the conversations I had with Indiana-based Bob Martin (on the occasion of his win of the 2007 $50,000 truck makeover on the occasion of the Shell SuperRigs event and associated calendar) is crystal clear in its essence. Martin could tell instantly how little time I’d been around the industry. But he was as gracious as he was good-humored and quite funny in the schooling he gave me then on a few of the finer points of the trucking industry and the owner-operator’s place in it during that first year or so of my time writing for Overdrive and Truckers News.
Those who knew him better will no doubt have similar such remembrances today. If you didn’t know Martin, he was a big presence at truck beauty shows and in other industry quarters and corners over the years. After his retirement from the road, he served these last few years as a Land Line columnist, in addition to being a frequent blogger and commenter at the Dispatch Me Home site. The last column of his I read was a piece, in fact, taking some trucking editors (and advertisers) to task for not asking the right questions. It brought a nice smile, for sure. You can read “If I were in the editor’s chair” here.
Longtime friends at Dispatch Me Home have put together a nice memorial with more info about Martin. Find it via this link.
Martin, born in 1942, was 68 at the time of his death early this morning. He is survived by his wife, Geri; two brothers and sisters; a stepson; and two step-granddaughters.
Family members have set up an online memorial and guestbook page via the Fisher-Loy Funeral Chapel’s website. A memorial service is being planned to take place at the VA Chapel at the Indiana Veterans Home in West Lafayette.
Here’s to you, Bob…