Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Walter 'Bill' Martin


Walter William "Bill" Martin, 89, of Thayne, Wyo., passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 17, 2018.

Bill was born in Laramie, Wyo., on February 18, 1929, to Leotha and Walter Martin. He attended grade school in Laramie and moved to Cody, graduating from Cody High School in 1948. He excelled in athletics – football, wrestling, and track. He was all state in football and a two time state champion wrestler. He attended the University of Wyoming on a wrestling scholarship, graduating in 1953 with a B.S. He later attended the University of Nebraska receiving an M.Ed.

Bill married Lynn Thomas, his high school sweetheart, in January of 1949. Four children were born to this union. He began his teaching career in 1954 in Rock River, Wyo., moving to Worland, Wyo., in 1956 to teach and coach wrestling and football. During his years in Worland, Bill experienced a dramatic 40-foot fall, shattering the bones in both legs. Remarkably, after 6 weeks, he was back to teaching and coaching from a wheelchair. His strength, determination and perseverance would be a driving force throughout his life. The final segment of his professional career (spanning 32 years) was completed at Laramie Junior High School as a guidance counselor.

Bill and Lynn enjoyed their retirement years in a split between Mesa, Ariz., and Thayne. Golf, international travel, friends and family were an important part of this scenario. Besides his teaching/coaching career, Bill was most proud of his family.

Survivors include his wife of 69 years, Lynn; daughter, Margie Jackson of Thermopolis; son, Tom (Linda) Martin of Ft. Mohave, Ariz./Thayne; daughter, Sara (Kelly) Thompson of Hope, Idaho; son, Terry (Denise) Martin of Cheyenne, Wyo.; cousin Noralee Hoefer; 7 grandchildren; and 14 great grandchildren.

 A celebration of life will be held at the Lynn family reunion in Flagstaff, Ariz. at the end of June. Memorial donations may be made to the Bill Martin Memorial Wrestler's Scholarship fund o/c the Bank of Star Valley, P.O. Box 928, Thayne, WY., 83127.


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