History buff made mark as photographer, athlete
An avid photographer, writer, history buff and athlete, Charles Martin never failed to make an impression.
“He was just a true gentleman,” according to David Thompson Sr., president of the General Arthur St. Clair chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, which Martin had served as president. “He was one of those people you're glad you knew.”
Charles R. Martin of Jones Mills died Monday, July 8, 2013, in his home. He was 86.
Born in Beaver Falls, he became fascinated with photography at a young age. After serving in World War II aboard the destroyer USS Lyman K. Swenson in the Pacific fleet, Mr. Martin studied art and zoology in Dartmouth College.
He returned to Beaver Falls after graduation and met his wife of 62 years, Sara “Sally” Mitchell. They married in 1950 and had three children.
In a segment on WQED last year, Mr. Martin said his goal as a photographer was always to capture “the decisive moment,” a phrase coined by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.
“When there's any group of people, two people or more, interacting, there's one split-second that sums up exactly what happened at that time, at that place, better than any other split-second,” Mr. Martin said. “And that's what you look for.”
A decisive moment in his career was the 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Mourning march in Pittsburgh. Images Mr. Martin captured that day are archived in the University of Pittsburgh History ULS Archives Service Center. The photos were exhibited in April in Hillman Library.
“Glad I Was Here,” a retrospective book of Mr. Martin's photographs, is scheduled to be out this month.
A keen interest in history and his ancestry led Mr. Martin to join the Sons of the American Revolution and the Ligonier Civil War Roundtable. Mr. Martin and his wife co-authored “Warpath: A Saga of the Frontier Family of John Martin,” a novel published in 2008 about his ancestors' adventures during the French and Indian War.
Mr. Martin regularly competed in bicycling and cross-country skiing competitions. In February, he and his wife earned silver medals during the Masters World Cup in Asiago, Italy, for their age group in the 5-kilometer freestyle. Mr. Martin took gold in the 10K freestyle.
“He just was a very active man,” said friend Rosalind Ashmun. “I just lost my husband (Richard) on the 10th of June. The fact that ... Sally and I lost both of them within a month of one another is significant. I think they've probably started their S.A.R. chapter up in heaven.”
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Catherine Martin Mitchell, of Ocracoke, N.C.; two sons, William McQuaid Martin, of Gaithersburg, Md., and Thomas Alan Martin, of Julian in Centre County; and five grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held July 20 in Middle Presbyterian Church near Mt. Pleasant.
Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913 or email@example.com
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2 found dead in Harrison home
- Mother, baby found dead in Millvale apartment
- Steelers sign former ACC Player of the Year Boyd for QB depth
- Polamalu could be next in long line of Steelers greats given unceremonial exit
- Route 422 closed after serious accident in Kittanning Township
- Accident near Highland Park Bridge backs up Route 28 traffic
- Allegheny County Controller candidates quarrel 2 days before Dem endorsement vote
- Wolf reverses Corbett, says deal between Highmark, UPMC doesn’t limit continuity of care to very ill
- Pitt star running back Conner likes to give back, savors charity work
- WPIAL heavyweights take 3 spots in PIAA Class AA semifinals
- Legal opinion clears way for Pa. distributors to sell beer 12-packs