Beloved family ‘leader-of-the-band’, Peter Lynn Martin, CIS (Computer Informations Systems) instructor, and gentle human being, loving husband to Stacie Anfinson and devoted, encouraging father to Haley and Ariana Martin, passed away at home, 6:30 p.m., Sept. 8, 2016 from a massive heart attack.
Beloved family ‘leader-of-the-band’, Peter Lynn Martin, CIS (Computer Informations Systems) instructor, and gentle human being, loving husband to Stacie Anfinson and devoted, encouraging father to Haley and Ariana Martin, passed away at home, 6:30 p.m., Sept. 8, 2016 from a massive heart attack. He had been in severe pain for several months from pancreatic cancer, but he had been in remission, and the cancer didn’t prevent him from riding his 3-wheeled bicycle in the Hettinger 4th of July parades, singing professionally, arranging for Emmanuel Presbyterian Choirs (Phoenix), returning full-time to Scottsdale Community College, teaching January and August 2016 semesters, and singing at SCC recent commencements. Simply put, Peter was about His Father’s business, enjoying what he did best: i.e. helping others.
Peter was born July 13, 1958 in Kensal, N.D. to Doc and Dora (Wolsky) Martin. He was fourth of five siblings (Jonathan, Timothy, Michael, Peter, Tamara) and he credited his loving, educated, medically and musically- inclined family for stellar family memories, for the compassion his parents mentored and he, in turn, ingrained, and for the music he had in his soul.
Peter grew up in Medina, N.D., becoming a quality athlete (basketball), starred musician (Medina, All-State, Valley City State College, Medora Musical), composer, arranger, and thespian (Medora Musical, VCSC, Miss North Dakota Pageants). He attended NDSU, Fargo (completed credits/coursework in Computer Science) and graduated from Valley City State College (1980: B.S. Math/Education, minors in Physical Ed. and Driver’s Ed). Pete used these interests to become a basketball coach, math teacher and driver’s ed. coach (New Salem, ND) and YMCA basketball coach, Scottsdale, Ariz. (“Mr. Martin”); and a Burning Hill Singer, Medora (1979-1980) where he met Stacie…it was love-at-first-dance, and the singing never stopped. They were married Nov. 27, 1982, Hettinger, at the Hettinger Lutheran Church (a place he returned, upon hearing news he had months to live, to drive and donate a complete church bell system from EPC, Emmanuel Presb. Church, Phoenix) and give a family bell concert July 2015). “Bold, reliable, supportive and faithful” would be words to describe Peter Martin.
Stacie and Peter moved to Arizona in 1984. Peter became a programmer/analyst for TRW (Phoenix), Anfinson’s Inc.,(Hettinger/ Dickinson, ND), Dynacomp (Phoenix), and Circuit City (Phoenix/Scottsdale). He foundeded S.A. Prods in 1984 and, as “the leader of the band,” created musical productions statewide, from Scottsdale Christian School to Laguna Elementary (Scottsdale); Pope John Catholic School (Phoenix); ASU Alumni Assoc.(Tempe), Concordia Cobber Alumni Assoc. (Tempe, AZ/ Moorhead, MN) etc. Peter was a musical favorite at innumerable nursing homes, street dances, assisted living centers, weddings, funerals, birthdays, happy hours, pageants and other civic celebrations. His favorite childhood memory was singing with his brothers, sister and parents, and this turned into professionally directing and singing for a number of churches (Glass & Garden, Scottsdale; Unity of Tempe; Emmanuel Presbyterian, Phoenix) and bands big (“Phantom of the Opera,” Phoenix; Sun Bowl Amphitheater, Sun City; Applause Productions, etc.) and small (Delander Choraleers, Dickens’ Singers, Phoenix etc.) , saying he was “lucky enough to call Hettinger’s Cowboy band members ‘colleagues’ and ‘dear friends’.”
Peter’s truest, happiest, and proudest joys were daughters Haley Lynn (3/15/90) and Ariana Annette (4/12/95). He held their hand from birth (including hitchhiking during a March blizzard from Newell, S.D. to get to Haley’s Hettinger Hospital birth…yes, seriously), to performing at their schools (Hettinger/Scottsdale), and he attended every graduation, walking both Haley and Ariana across the stage at Scottsdale Community College. He was behind the videocamera at every possible family event (karate, Tae Kwon Do, gymnastics, swim team, dance recitals, pageants, basketball, soccer, softball, campouts, etc) and was the girls’ “#1 Fan.” He loved to travel with his family, and considered Star Meadows, Mont. his spiritual home. He also loved the harsh beauty of the Sonoran desert, planting, xeriscaping, and tending to Nature. At his Scottsdale home he created a “kindness zone” for anyone to “come in, set a spell, and stay if you like,” and the Anfinson-Martins became a host family to students worldwide. He enjoyed playing flute, native flute, tuba, alto sax, keyboard, piano and guitar, even the didgeridoo (yes, seriously), as well as composing songs for children to remember their homework (example, “The Rock Song,” “The Continent Song,” “The State/Capitols Song”etc.) and mentoring cheerful determination (“Cheer Up, “Little Bitty Smile” “Star Meadows Medley” etc. etc). Favorite PLMartin arrangements include his versions of “Circle of Life,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Mustang Sally,” “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Sentimental Journey” (the latter being arrangements he joyously created and performed, for AZ’s Wing Aviation Museum (Mesa), as well as many of Hettinger’s 4th of July concerts.
Peter was a jolly guy, infectiously positive to all around him, but the pancreatic cancer had stripped away so much quality and well-being from his life that his past heart condition seems one of God’s darker blessings Through it all, however, Peter remained resolute, rational, hopeful, and hid the pain in favor of creating good memories (such as donating time to Feed My Starving Children when he could no longer, barely walk). One, recent, memorable phrase from a man we’d come to appreciate and respect deeply: “Peter Martin is a consummate gentleman.” (Dr. Halepota, oncologist).
Mostly to be remembered and emulated was Peter’s humble, determined courage and dignity, his Christian stewardship, respectability, professionalism and above all, consistently good humor and positive spin (who can forget his meticulously crafted, out-of-the-box, zany Halloween costumes, culminating in an SCC CIS instructor tradition?).
Peter is preceded in death by his parents (Dr. Clarence S. Martin and Dora Elsie [Wolsky], Kensal, N.D./Medina, N.D./Whitefish, Mont.); and his nephew Aaron Martin. In bereavement includes brothers and sisters-in-law Jonathan and Alice Martin (Great Falls, Mont.); Timothy and Dr. Irene Martin (Star Meadows, Mont.), Michael and Sandy Martin (Yakima, Wash.); and sister/nephew Tamera and Josh (Butte, Mont.). He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins country-wide, as well as mother-in-law Verna Anfinson and brother-in-law Jon Anfinson, Hettinger.
A Burial-of-ashes funeral service will be held July 4, 2017, at the Hettinger Cemetery, 4 p.m., with Pastor John Lewis (Hettinger Baptist Church) presiding. All family and friends of the Anfinson – Martin families are welcome to attend.