Legal 04

Judge William Bill Martin

October 5, 2019


It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Judge William R. Martin (Bill), dear husband of Myrna, father of Lee, Carrie, Spencer and Michele.

He passed away on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at the Victoria General Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba, at the age of 90 years.

Service will be held Friday morning, October 25, 2019, 11:00 am, at St. Luke's Anglican Church, 130 Naussa, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In lieu of flowers, donations to CancerCare Manitoba, ON1160 – 675 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E OV9, would be appreciated by Bill’s family.



Judge Martin was born to his parents Bill Martin and Iva Collins at home at 435 Macray Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba; he was the second youngest of nine children (Norman, Raymond, Kay, Aileen, Marion, Pat, Gwen, William and Joyce). His father, Bill Martin had three children and his mother Iva Collins had four children when they met. Once they married they had two more children. His family was always loving and supportive and up until Judge Martin’s passing he was still very close to his remaining sisters.

During his youth, Judge Martin was in the Canadian Military and was once stationed in Calgary, Alberta. He spoke often of his walks from Banff to Calgary as part of the military drills. After graduating from the University of Manitoba Law School, he was called to the Manitoba Bar in 1957. Judge Martin then opened up his own law firm and during his time as a lawyer he practiced in the areas of family, criminal, and civil litigation and he avidly defended the best interests of his clients. Judge Martin was appointed as a Crown Prosecutor in 1967 and later named as Queen’s Counsel by Attorney General Sterling Lyon in 1968.

At the young age of 40 years old he was appointed to The Provincial Court of Manitoba while living in The Pas. Judge Martin’s career achievements include appearing in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1968 on a constitutional question involving Indian hunting rights. During his time in The Pas, Judge Martin also presided over weekly and monthly Court sessions in the northern communities of Flin Flon, Grand Rapids and Lynn Lake, where he was flown in and out of these communities in a small plane. These were adventures he cherished and would often share stories about this time in his life. Judge Martin truly loved the North. He had a special affinity for the Native People which he loved dearly and wanted to see them flourish in Canada; he understood them and their deep cultural heritage. During his time as a judge in The Pas he was known for his great trust in humanity and would never lock the doors to his own home even after a tough day in Court.

He also loved being at his cottage at Clearwater Lake where he would often partake in very long walks in nature. Judge Martin had a great love for the outdoors which included hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling. Physical fitness was important to him as well and he became well known in the community for climbing the flagpole located on his lake property; even at the ripe age of 50 years old he soared to the top of the pole with ease.

Notwithstanding his many achievements in life, he recognized his own shortcomings and as a result early on in his career he joined Alcoholics Anonymous. He was a faithful member and never ceased being grateful to the organization for the faith and support it gave him. His candor and dedication, lead and inspired many to follow his example in joining the organization. Even in his later years, his dedication never waned for the place and people that gave him a different perspective on life.

Judge Martin was an avid reader and even in his later years he was known to be in search of this book or that book. He would often make requests of family members to pop out to McNally Robinson to find a book for him. His children and stepchildren also note that if they were to bring a book home while staying for a few days visit, it could disappear as he wanted to read it as well. He would read faster than anyone could imagine so that was never a problem.

Judge Martin loved poetry dearly as well as rhymes and riddles that he would often recite to family and friends. One in particular… Archibald… would become known to his many grandchildren as his signature rhyme with grandchildren splitting guts and giggling non-stop, it was soon revealed to his loving grandchildren that their Grandpa was a pretty cool dude!

Judge Martin is survived by his loving wife Myrna Martin, who was his soulmate, his caregiver, his confident, his friend and his love. Myrna stood by him always and further in these last years embracing him with love, providing him with all life’s comforts and most of all, a menu full of home cooking that was fit for a king. She was known to have changed his simple pallet over the years from roast beef and mashed potatoes by introducing him to all types of food and flavors, including Ukrainian, Thai, and Chinese. Together they flourished throughout the years often surrounded by family and inspiring all with their love for one another.

Judge Martin celebrated his most recent birthday turning 90 years old this past May in Winnipeg surrounded by the family that loved him so dearly. It was a special time all together and it will never be forgotten.

Judge Martin died peacefully on Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 3:20 p.m. in the presence of Myrna, his children and grandchildren who, just prior to him passing, sang in a beautiful chorus, a special song that he loved to sing; The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. His passing was as profound as his life; it had meaning and purpose and he seemed to know where he was going. Most of all he passed with love and understanding that It was his time, even though he did tell Myrna that he didn’t think they had enough time together and wondered if she could come with him.

Judge Martin is survived by his loving sisters whom he cherished deeply, Kay Eastwood and Joyce Nightingale; he loved them dearly and together they shared many memories in life and were always there for one another.

Judge Martin is survived by his loving children: Lee Martin, Carrie Hume, Spencer Martin, Michele Martin; grandchildren: Adam Tavener, Holly Rousson, Aynsley Hume, Kaylia Martin, Nicholas Martin, Christopher Cudmore, Daniel Cudmore, and Jenny Cudmore; great-grandchildren: Tristan, Cooper, Emma and Ethan; Loving step-children: Jacalyn Symonds, Tracy Turner, Robin Symonds; as well as grandchildren: Ashley Turner, Christopher Roos and Lucas Murphy-Symonds.

His farewell service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 25, 2019 at the Parish of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, located at 130 Nassau Street North, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Lunch to follow.

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