Saturday, May 12, 2012

R.I.P Terry Martin – A True Master Craftsman

Terry loved to share his gift for shaping.
Photo: Chasen Marshall
After a morning spent on the ocean, surrounded by dolphins and sea life, I learned of Terry Martin's passing. He'd been fighting Melanoma for nearly two years. It had stolen much of his weight and most of his trademark thick white beard, but it never put a dent on his spirit. Or his love for making surfboards. Up until a week before the Saturday morning that he passed, Terry was doing what he'd been doing for the previous 60 years – creating what must be described as art. He turned strips of balsa and redwood into a 10-foot beauty of a board. It was an exact replica of the first board he made as a 13-year-old while growing up in San Diego.

The board will be up for auction at the Terry Martin Project fundraiser on May 20, which was put together by friends, co-workers and loved ones in order to help pay some of the medical bills. The fundraiser will still go on and the life of Terry Martin will be celebrated.

He was a kind man who expected and asked for little, but gave everything that he had to those he knew – and even to those who he just met. I was fortunate to spend the past five months hanging out with Terry for a story I wrote about him for a surf publication. We just met in December 2011, but he opened his heart and his home to me and I'll be forever grateful that I had the opportunity to get to him. I'll miss his story-telling and unrelenting positive outlook on life.

His memory will live on with the countless friends he had, the 80,000-plus surfboards he shaped and the lives he changed. Much love to Candy and the rest of the Martin family during this difficult time.

Mahalo for being you, Terry. We'll miss you.

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