Madison - Guy V. Martin, age 84, passed away at his home in Madison on September 16, 2019. He was born in Columbus, Wisconsin on January 26, 1935, to Edward and Helen (Blanchard) Martin. The family later moved to Shorewood, Wisconsin where Guy excelled in sports and his classes. It was at Shorewood High School that he met Marilyn Johnston. The two were married at North Shore Presbyterian Church on June 22, 1957.
While a student at Shorewood High School, Guy traveled to postwar Germany as an American Field Service exchange student. There he witnessed first hand the devastation of the war. Later, he noted that the experience had changed his life, that he wanted to make a difference. At Colgate University, he started making that difference, and he excelled in academics, sports, and service. As a senior, he was awarded the President's Cup for character, scholarship, and sportsmanship. He lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. He was one of the nation's top passers in 1956, finishing third in the country behind John Brody and Tom Flores. He was drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and had a brief, but successful stint with the team in the fall of 1957.
He returned to Colgate to pursue his Master's in Philosophy and Religion and to coach football. After receiving his Master's, Guy and Marilyn went to Chicago, where he attended the University of Chicago Divinity School. He graduated in 1962 and was ordained as a Methodist minister and became a member of the Rock River Conference.
While still in the Chicago area, Guy made the transition from minister to academic administrator, beginning at what was then known as Kendall College, a two year Methodist college. He began as the school Chaplain and finished in 1966 as Dean of Students. Asked later about the transition, Guy said that as an administrator, as well as mentor and teacher, he could provide service that could directly help people, continuing his commitment to making a difference. Indeed, mentoring and teaching students became his ministry.
Guy returned to Colgate in 1966, where he held posts as Dean of Admissions and Dean of Students. He left Colgate in 1976, to assume similar positions at Harvard Divinity school, and later Yale Divinity School, pursuing his passion for making a difference.
After retiring from Yale, Guy returned to Wisconsin with Marilyn. They divided their time between Madison, Wisconsin, and North Eastham, Massachusetts where they had built a home in 1976. As the travel became more difficult, Guy and Marilyn stayed in Madison and enjoyed the community, the university, and the area to the fullest.
Guy was known for his engaging personality, his sense of humor, and his devotion to helping. One of his favorite phrases, inherited from his father, was, "Keep your chin up, and your powder dry," typically delivered with a knowing wink. Guy manifested these qualities up to the time of his passing.
He is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn (Johnston) Martin; and children John (Lynn Martin), Kristin (Lori Miller), and Colin. He also leaves 3 grandsons: Kyle, Jordan, and Desmond. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A Celebration of Guy's Life will be at 3:00 PM on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at Cress Funeral Service, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, WI 53705. Gathering and visitation will be from 4-6:00 PM at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made in Guy's name to Colgate University, the Alzheimer's Alliance of Madison or the Madison Public Library.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Services
3610 Speedway Road
Always for you,
A Generous Welcome
The snow is falling through eternity’s quiet
where everything here lives within. And now
mid-morning the sunlight falls across the
hemlocks, it too lying within the ubiquity
of quiet, a quiet arriving from the silence
that was here before Alpha and will be here
after Omega. This morning when the turkeys,
twelve of them, tumbled in their tumultuous
flutter down from roosting in the dark
where they sleep one hundred feet up in
the empty-leaved maples, the snow shook
down on the quiet of the cat, and she rushed
through the brush to the back door where she waited
for me. The silence, of course, was everywhere.
The turkeys nodded their stable way up the hill,
following the inevitable trail that has become
their day, seeming to trust the path will bring
them to seeds and corn, lost fruit. The light
glistened along the sheen of their backs bringing
gold and green out from what against the drifts
seemed only a study in black. Sound does come,
even in the hush of the turkeys’ enormous feet
imprinting the snowfall, even in the small fall
of flake upon flake. Quiet can come to silence.
Guy was very kind to me as Dean of Students when I was at Harvard Divinity School from 1978-81. That was when my denomination was just beginning to ordain women. Guy was especially understanding when I was going through my church's discernment process, which was more gender-biased then compared to now, and which had implications for my program at HDS. We also shared an interest in religion and the arts. His presence as dean of students was truly a blessing. My sincere condolences to his family.
I worked in the Dean of Students Office when I was an M.Div student from 1988-91. Guy was kind and gentle. He is also the person who re-introduced me to literature. He has a special place in my heart and memory. Rest in Peace, Guy.
I met Prof. Guy V Martin when I was a student at Harvard Divinity School 1988-1990. He was Dean of Student Affairs and my mentor. I recalled after my first year in the MTS program, my batch-mates encouraged me to register for the ThM program. I discussed the proposal with Prof Martin. He told me he would discuss the matter with faculty. He did. In 1990 I graduated with the ThM Class of '90.
He also encouraged and guided me to be prudent with my finances and always honour my obligations. This I've done and thank him until this day.
My name is Stanley G. Clarke, Class of '90 ,Jamaican and currently a Bishop of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and The Cayman Islands. May your soul enter that...Sabbath rest for the people of God...Hebrews4.9 RSV. Rest in Peace Prof Martin. Oct.03, 2019.
Dear Martin family: I never knew Punky Martin, but boy I heard his name -- at least that name -- many times. I wish I had met him; I think we were at Harvard at the same time. My dad coached him in football at Shorewood High School. He acquired the nickname "Punky," I believe, because even when he was a littler kid he was playing with the big guys. My parents were so impressed by Punky Martin they thought he'd be elected President some day. Would that he had been. All I ever heard about him was what a wonderful person he was. You have my condolences.
Oh my. He was a huge influence on my life when I was a student at HDS. I had been offered an internship at the Boston Federal Relations Office in Washington, DC for the summer of 1977, but it was an unpaid internship. When I told Guy about and that I was going to turn it down, he quickly asked: you haven’t declined the position have you? I said no, but....”Guy said don’t turn it down but be in my office tomorrow at 9. Guy secured funding and housing & I accepted the position. That internship greatly affected my life because one of the attorneys in Congress I met that summer stayed in touch, came to my Harvard graduation and later became my law partner when he opened his own law firm in DC, El Paso, & San Francisco where I was located. Condolences to his family 😩
I was so saddened to hear of your husband passing. I enjoyed our visit over the years at Dental Health. He was a very special man and always had a smile. I will miss him.
Know that I am thinking of you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Know Marilyn that he will always be with you, you have so many memories that you have created together. My Deepest Sympathy. Linda Niesen
PhotosAdd a photo
Have a floral question? Call +1 888-640-1035
Healing Registry Unavailable at the Moment!