Guy V. Martin

Guy V. Martin

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 held later this fall. Please look for updates on the Cress website.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Guy’s name to Colgate University, the Alzheimers Alliance of Madison or the Madison Public Library.