James B. Martin

A memorial service for James B. “Jim” Martin, 66, Lawrence, Kansas, will be held at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 13, 2010, at the First United Methodist Church, 946 Vermont Street, in Lawrence.  Inurnment will immediately follow the service at Pioneer Cemetery.  Friends and family are invited to the church gathering area for light refreshments, following the inurnment.  He died Thursday, April 08, 2010, in Lawrence, KS.

He was born on September 14, 1943 in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of James B. Martin Sr. and Marcile May Coates.  He grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and received his B.A., in English, from Wichita State University in 1965.  He then went on to receive a M.A., in English, from the University of Kansas in 1968.

Mr. Martin was first employed by Valley City State College in North Dakota teaching English.  From 1971-1974 he served as Assistant to the President.  During this time, he planned and developed the first College Relations program serving as Executive Director of the Foundation, Director of College Relations, and  Alumni Director. 

He returned to Lawrence in 1974 and began his employment of 28 years with the KU Endowment Association.  He served as Director of Program Development from 1974-1976, Vice President for Private Support Programs from 1976-1983, Senior Vice President from 1983-1987, Executive Vice President from 1987-1991, and President from 1991-2002.  In his 28 years of service Mr. Martin helped KU Endowment grow from 48 million in assets to over 1 billion.  From 1985-1992, he served as Executive Campaign Director for Campaign Kansas, a $177 million campaign to benefit the University of Kansas.  The final achievement totaled $265.3 million on June 30, 1992.  In 2001, he helped launch KU First, the third of its kind at KU, with a goal of $500 million.  Upon retirement in 2002, Mr. Martin was elected Trustee Emeritus to the board of the KU Endowment Association.

In addition to his work at KU, he was also involved in civic programs.  He was a member of the Lawrence Noon Rotary Club, and the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. He served on the board of directors for the First United Methodist Church, the Watkins Community Museum and the Douglas County Bank.

In 2007, Mr. Martin received the Fred B. Ellsworth Medallion for distinguished service to the University of Kansas from the KU Alumni Association.

He was an avid sailor, world traveler, and invested many hours in genealogical research. 

He married his wife, Kathy Koenig Martin on June 27, 1971 in Kulm, North Dakota.  She survives of the home. 

Other survivors include a son, Grant and wife, Ginger Blevins Martin, Eudora, KS, two grandchildren; Georgia Martin and Benjamin Martin,  brother-in-law and sister-in-law Tom & Angie Koenig, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Robert and Nancy Hieb, two nephews; Christopher Koenig and Rob Hieb, two nieces; Laura Koenig and Jennifer Hieb, and his mother-in-law, Edna Koenig.  He was preceded in death by his parents. 

The family will meet friends from at 5-7 p.m. on Monday, April 12th, at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.

The family suggests memorials to the James B. Martin Scholarship Fund at the K.U. Endowment Association or to the Heart of America Hospice and may be sent in care of the mortuary.

15 Condolences

  1. Susie, Scott, Kaitlin, Keegan, Logan & Liam McKinney on April 8, 2010 at 12:00 am

    We will forever remember Jim walking the neighborhood with his faithful buddy Shadow. All the while, allowing time for the kids to greet Shadow with hugs and pats. We will miss Jim and his kind and attentive demeanor (not to mention his constant help at all Giving Tree events). We love you, Kathy. Our hugs and prayers are sent to you.
    -S,S,K,K,L&L McK

  2. Mike & Barbara Malone on April 9, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Kathy and Grant, our deepest sympathy to you.
    We smile thinking of all those wonderful, long swim meet weekends where we got to know wonderful people like the Martins–Jim was one of the best.

    Our thoughts and prayers,

    Barbara & Mike Malone

  3. Mike, Kristine, Josh, Jack, Rachel and Sarah on April 9, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Our love,thoughts and prayers are with you, Kathy, and your family. We will miss Jim’s kind and gentle heart which shined everywhere he went. May God’s mercy and love give you strength and comfort during this time. Love-The Burrichters
    Mike, Kristine, Joshua, Jack, Rachel and Sarah

  4. Paul & Donna Gutschmidt on April 9, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Kathy and family,
    Our hearts are so sad in North Dakota thinking of you and wishing that we could be with you during this difficult time. We so enjoyed our times with Jim. We learned so much from him in those Fredonia discussions – his ability to listen so intently, his caring attitude, the great questions he always asked, his genuine concern for everyone, and his compassion for all. He always showed such a keen interest in our lives and we cherish those precious memories.
    We send our love, hugs and prayers to all of you.
    Paul, Donna, David, Mark & Hope Gutschmidt

  5. Liz Pearce on April 10, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Oh Kathy, I’m so sorry! I pray that all the hugs and kisses you’ve given out over the years will return to you as you mourn Jim’s passing. Harold and I will keep you in our prayers now and always.

    Love, Liz

  6. Lynda Strong Woods on April 10, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I was so sorry to learn of Jim’s passing. I knew him through grade school/junior high at Pleasant Valley and the North High Class of 1961. (His picture looks so much like his 9th grade picture at PV.) Even as a young kid, I remember Jim as a very kind and gentle person. He accomplished so much in his life, and I’m sure his family is very proud of him. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Lynda Strong Woods

  7. Ragene Aldrich Moore on April 10, 2010 at 12:00 am

    To Kathy and family…
    Wishing you peace and comfort in this difficult time. I was blessed to have had several classes at Wichita High School North ’61 with Jim..such a quiet but witty guy—he always surprised us with his quiet, dry humor!! I will remember our last visit at our last high school reunion.
    Your heart will always be filled with lots of great memories!

  8. Roger, Linda, John and Sarah Gutschmidt on April 11, 2010 at 12:00 am

    To the family of Jim Martin, our thoughts and prayers go out to you. I best remember Jim for his ability to talk to people. When he visited us rural folks around the Fredonia-Kulm area, he was always interested in what we were doing and wanted to learn more about farming or whatever the topic was. He had a great sense of humor and everything he said was well thought out. He was very “polished” in his speaking.

    About 20 plus years ago I had the privledge of going on a sailboat ride with his family. Grant was just a little guy. Jim will be missed by all who knew him. He is in a much better place and God will take good care of him. We love you. Roger, Linda, John and Sarah Gutschmidt (the farmers from North Dakota)

  9. carolyn on April 12, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I was so sorry to hear of your loss, I will be thinking of you Tuesday.

  10. Heidi, Mark, Hayden, and Parker Everley on April 12, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Grant and Ginger, Please know or hearts and prayers are with today, tomorrow and always. Grant, you have always been a true and loyal friend, I’m sure your Dad was partially responsible for that. He will be missed and remembered for his kindness, generosity, leadership and loving spirit. Kathy, we are thinking and praying for you also. May the love of those around you, help you through the days ahead. Someone as special as Jim could never be forgotten. Our deepest sympathy, The Everleys

  11. Palmers on April 12, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Our hearts are with you and I’m sorry we are unable to be with you during this difficult time. Our hugs and prayers are with you.

  12. Wanda (St.Laurent) Cummings on April 12, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Kathy, My son, Scott, forwarded Jim’s passing. It has been many years since we last were neighbors. I have many memories of Jim, Grant, and you. Please know that I am sorry for your sorrow. Jim was always such a nice person. I especially remember his smile. Thinking and praying for all of you.

  13. Kermit Johnson on April 12, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Kathy and family. Jim and I were best friends in Jr and Sr high. I was saddened to learn of his passing. Our prayers and thoughts are with you.
    Kermit and Kathy

  14. Laura Williams on April 12, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Miss Kathy,

    I want to extend my deepest sympathies to you, your children and your grandchildren on your recent loss. Jim was so well-respected with everyone always saying such kind things about him. I always enjoyed hearing your stories in preschool about your weekend outings together. Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Words feel inadequate at a time like this … just know you are loved and supported by many.

    With love,
    Laura Williams

  15. Ron Goodman on April 13, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Kathy, Grant & Ginger & Family,
    I want to express my sympathy and love as you say goodbye to Jim. It is so hard to believe this gentle, caring man of dignity and integrity is gone from us. I know that his illness has been hard and there is the comfort of ultimate healing in his going on to be with the Lord, but so hard to say this final good-bye. Barb and I love each of you and have great memories of the many wonderful times we have shared together. May God give you incredible strenth and power as welll as comfort today and in the coming days, and may your grief be tempered with joyful memories. With much love,
    Ron & Barb Goodman
    Harbor Springs, MI

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