Ralph Leon Martin, 86, of Olathe was called home to his heavenly Father on Thursday, August 27th, 2020.
He was born October 6, 1933, to Lester and Ella Marie (Drane) Martin in Topeka, Kansas. Ralph graduated from Seaman High School in 1951. He began his career working for the Santa Fe Railroad in Topeka. He also worked at the Kansas National Guard Armory in Topeka and served in the Kansas National Guard. However, the majority of his working career, twenty-nine years, was spent working at Southwestern Bell/AT&T as an HVAC Tech in Kansas City.
Ralph was a believer and follower of Christ. He attended the Pentecostal church, Victory Tabernacle, in Topeka during his youth. His faith guided him throughout his life's journey, blessing those who came in contact with him. He was the kind of man you could trust, and was always willing to give of his time, talents and advice.
Ralph had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed being outdoors. In his youth, he was a hunter, as a young man, he discovered his love of the water and owned several motorboats and explored many different lakes in the area. He was excellent at water skiing and enjoyed coming up with different ways to ride the wakes like sitting on a chair, a disk, or an inner tube and flying in a kite. His real love was teaching his young nephews the sport. He also took them to the snow slopes of Colorado to challenge them on the black slopes after only a brief introduction to snow skiing on the beginners slope. Ralph had become skilled enough on the slopes that he took a guided helicopter ski trip on virgin snow in Canada.
Ralph was ambitious, as he demonstrated when he built his first house in its entirety, doing all aspects of the construction himself. He was also very health conscious, growing his own garden and raising honey bees for his own honey.
After his boating and snow skiing years passed, Ralph moved on to a love of motorcycling and took many trips with friends and relatives to faraway places like Alaska and Nova Scotia on his Gold Wing bike, camping along the way.
Upon approaching his fifties, Ralph took up running, following in his nephews' footsteps and ran many road races in the Topeka and Kansas City areas.
In more recent years after retiring, he spent the cold winters in Arizona, and the summers back in Olathe with his extended family.
Ralph is survived by his loving sister, Donna Stadel and husband Garry; nieces and nephews Jeff and Joni Miller, and Kevin and Jill Miller; grand nieces and nephews Justin and Jessie Kanatzar, Megan and Derek Ross, Kyle and Cassie Miller, Jenna and Brian Mentzer, Jake and Jaden Miller; and great-grand nieces and nephews Trinity Robleado, Kinsley Ross, Brayden and Bryson Mentzer and Daisy Hopkins.
He was preceded in death by his parents Lester and Marie Martin of Topeka, and a sister Marilyn Collura of Rockford, Illinois.
Private services and a Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.
Memorials are suggested to the Ministries of College Church of the Nazarene, 2020 East Sheridan, Olathe, KS 66062.
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