William Martin Jr.
HELENA — William Donald Martin Jr. passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. He was preceded in death by his parents, W.D. Martin, Sr. and Ann Marie Martin; his sons, William D. Martin III and Shawn Lester Martin; his brothers, Frank Martin and Jackie Bob Martin; and his sisters, Patsy Martin and Joanne Martin.
Don is survived by his wife, Bonnie (Sherman) Martin; his sister, Barbara Stevens and her husband Jim; his son, Steve Martin and daughter-in-law, Staci Martin; his daughter, Angie Ratayczak and son-in- law George Ratayczak; his step-daughter, Terri Ellen VanLieshout and her husband David; as well many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Better known to friends and family as “Don” or “Donnie,” Don was born in Anaconda, on Dec. 24, 1943, and spent most of his growing up years in western Montana. He was very proud of the period of time he spent in the Army and enjoyed the tour to Germany during that time. He learned and worked the water- well drilling profession starting in 1965 until he retired from same in 2001. He also learned the aircraft maintenance trade and became a Federally-licensed aircraft inspector. His love of flying was always a high point for him. He married Norma Silverthorn in 1968 and during the 1970s he and Norma had three sons: William D. Martin the III (Bill), Shawn, and Steven.
In 1990 he married his lifelong friend, Bonnie Sherman. They lived in Seeley Lake for many years and in Gold Beach, Oregon, from 2002-2018. He then felt he needed to come back home to be near his son, Steven and the grandchildren. They relocated to Helena.
Don was a very loving and thoughtful husband, father, grandfather and uncle. He is and will always be truly missed.
It was Don’s wish not to have a public service. There may be a small family gathering in the summer to celebrate his life and scatter ashes in an appropriate place of memory.