Russell Lowell Martin

Russell Lowell Martin, 74, third of eight children born to Lowell E. and Edna E. (Kolb) Martin, passed away from pancreatic cancer and COVID at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
The Graveside Memorial Service will be held at 11:00am Saturday, May 27, 2023 at the Gallaway Cemetery at Meadow.
Russ was born in Lemmon, South Dakota in 1947 and would have turned 75 on November 20. He grew up on the Martin farm near Meadow, South Dakota. Russ attended his first eight grades at a country school and graduated from Lemmon High School in 1967. Russ did a lot of hard work on the farm…there are stories of him having bleeding hands from sledding bales the old-fashioned way…no big roll hay bales back then.
After graduating high school, Russ served his country by spending two years in Vietnam and worked as a cook while in the Army. He came back home after his tour a skinny, nervous, cigarette-smoking vet, but still had his sense of humor. He went on to school and graduated from the culinary arts program that Mitchell Technical College had at that time.
Russ married Lavonne Koster in 1971 and began their life together living in Mitchell, SD. Two children were born of this union, Craig Dallas and Kimberly Marie. Russ worked as a chef at a nursing home, Roadway Inn, and Happy Chef in Mitchell. Russ and Lavonne later divorced. Russ raised his children in Sioux City, IA, where he worked for St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center as the head chef for 28 years. He also worked at the Iowa Beef Packing Plant and a turkey farm near Sioux City for shorter periods of time. Upon retirement, Russ was able to take his bucket list trip on an Alaskan cruise and also made several road trips to Colorado, California, Niagara Falls, the Black Hills, and to Kansas to visit his sisters.
Russ’s time on this earth had more than its share of hardships. He was plagued with mental and physical health issues but always persisted to live new and better days. His world with his kids was sometimes topsy-turvy, but good memories were made through camping trips, traveling to county fairs, or just staying at home playing games. Russ loved to play games; Skip-Bo, Ponytail, Cribbage, and Mexican Train dominoes were favorites. He loved people, loved to laugh, and had a wicked (mostly inappropriate) sense of humor. Russ will be remembered as being a jovial, Santa Clause-like person. We should all have a person like Russ in our lives!
Russ is survived by his children, Craig and Kim; grandchildren, Collin and Cayden Martin, Amber, Emma, and Ethan Kelly; stepchildren, Jeff (Terri) Eichmann and Diane (Ken) Geary; siblings, Jerry (Peggy) Martin, Janice (Watson) Tidball, Debby (Jack) Vetter, Beverly Martin, Lynn Martin, Gwen Martin, and Corby (Kim) Martin; and by numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.
He is preceded by his parents, grandparents, brother-in-law Watson Tidball, and great nephew Chris Tidball.
Our sincere appreciation goes to the doctors, nurses, and palliative care staff at St. Lukes for their work in making Russ comfortable during his final days. It seems fitting he received that care from the hospital he dedicated himself to for so many years.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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