Glenn James Martin
- February 21, 2023
Glenn James Martin
Glenn James Martin died peacefully at his home in Westcliffe, Colo., on Feb. 9, 2023.
Glenn was born in Moline, Ill., on June 10, 1936, to parents William and Vivian Martin. He was the oldest of four children. The following year, his family moved to Iowa and Glenn graduated from high school in West Chester, Iowa.
Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He completed basic training at Great Lakes Naval Base and received electronics training in Norman, Okla., and Memphis, Tenn. Glenn served as an airborne radio and radar operator and technician aboard a C-121 Super Constellation aircraft. While stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas, and later Patuxent River, Md., he performed aircraft early warning radar surveillance of Russian military activity, often operating out of Greenland and Newfoundland. He was honorably discharged from the Nay after completing his four-year commitment.
Glenn moved back to Iowa and used his radio skills at Collins Radio Company in Cedar Rapids. During his work at Collins, he met Matilda (Mattie) Blommers of Pella, Iowa, who was also employed there. Glenn and Mattie were married on May 25, 1963, at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa.
At Collins, Glenn worked on several significant government projects, developing communications gears for the Air Force’s F-15 Eagle fighter jet, the Space Shuttle Columbia, and the Global Positioning System (GPS). In addition to working on aircraft components, Glenn was an avid pilot himself. He took private pilot lessons and used the G.I. Bill to become instrument and commercial certified. He flew for decades, and family vacations often included a trip in one of the Collins Flying Club’s single-engine airplanes. Along with his family, flying was one of Glenn’s greatest joys in life.
Glenn retired from Collins in 2000 after 41 years of employment. Following his retirement, Glenn and Mattie relocated to Westcliffe, Colo. A hard worker his entire life, he spent his time maintaining fencing and irrigation on a nearby ranch, timbering, plowing snow, and helping with various projects in the community.
Surviving family members include his wife, Mattie; sons, Craig (Spokane, Wash.), Major General Corey (Scott AFB, Ill.), and Clinton (Belmont, Calif.); sisters Phyllis (Vinton, Iowa), and Carol (Hedrick, Iowa); and grandchildren, Gwyneth, Jackson, Amelia, Ames, and Elise.
Preceding him in death were his parents; brother, Bill Jr.; and granddaughter, Grace.
Glenn was a man of faith throughout his life and worshipped at Westcliffe First Baptist. According to his wishes, he was cremated, and no public memorial service will be held.