Walter David “Dave” Martin, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving daughters, Kelly and Kim, beloved granddaughter, Tatum Melody, and devoted great-niece, Brooke Triplehorn Hudson, on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Born and raised in Bloomington, Indiana, he was a prominent member of his community who left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents; Walter Franklin Martin, and Nell Violet (Richardson) Martin, siblings; Margaret Rollins, Charles “Sonny” Martin, James Martin, Phillip Martin, and the love of his life, Melody (Malsbury) Martin.
He is survived by his daughters; Kelly Martin and Kim Martin, one granddaughter; Tatum Martin, Nieces, and nephews; Michael Martin (Susie), Becky Cousins (Paul), Stephen Rollins (Linda), Julie Myers, Amy Becker, Gregg Martin (Veronica, Terri Martin, Vicki Elliott (Dean), Becky Martin, Phillip Kent Martin, and numerous great-nieces, nephews, and chosen family.
Dave attended McCalla Elementary School and graduated from Bloomington High School in 1958. A life-long athlete, Dave was on the first Bloomington Little League All-Star Team that was one game away from the National World Series. In high school, he was a standout in baseball, basketball, and basketball.
After graduating, Dave started a new chapter of his life attending Indiana University where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. From 1959-1961, he suited up and played for the Indiana University football team where he was a “Dickens Boy” and was honored to receive the Defensive Lineman of the Year award in 1961.
His love for the game, and all athletics, did not end there. For over 35 years, Dave held a leadership role in IU Athletics as the third Director of the IU Varsity Club, Associate Athletic Director, and Special Advisor to the department and its fundraising body. He initiated several programs such as the Athletic Endowment Fund, the University Ticket Priority System, the Varsity Club National Board, and the IU Athletics Hall of Fame to name a few. His revolutionary fundraising efforts transformed the IU Varsity Club into the most successful fundraising organization in the country. Even after he retired from Indiana University in 2004, he continued to support IU Athletics and mentor those who superseded him. He was the ultimate definition of a “Hoosier.”
Dave had a generous smile and unfailing work ethic that shined through in all he was involved in. In addition to his efforts with the IU Athletic Department, Dave volunteered much of his time in several programs throughout his community. He served on the Bard for the Bloomington Boys & Girls Club, was a founding board member of the Monroe County YMCA, and was a member of the Community Foundation Board. He was a proud member of the Dr. Charlie VanTassel Peyronie's Club, and an avid supporter of the Bloomington Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, founded by Melody Martin.
Dave received many recognitions and was honored for his generous spirit and dedication to all he was involved in. In 2005, he was the recipient of the Z.G. Clevenger Award, and in 2012, he was inducted into the IU Athletics Hall of Fame. He was also honored to be one of the “I-Men,” an organization of former IU athletes who ever received a university monogram. However, his greatest reward was being a father to his two daughters, Kelly and Kim, and Granddad to Tatum.
Dave was a longtime member of the Bloomington Country Club. He enjoyed spending his free time bantering with his buddies on the golf course, boating on Lake Monroe, tailgating at IU football games, or simply reminiscing and socializing with his friends and family. His memory will be cherished and kept alive by all who were fortunate enough to know him.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate the life of Dave Martin on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 1:00 pm. Funeral services will be held at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church, 2700 E. Rogers Rd, Bloomington, IN, with graveside service to follow at Clear Creek Cemetery. There will be no visitation prior to the funeral.
Dave took great pride in taking care of his daughters and would be comforted knowing he would still be able to provide the same care of his granddaughter by helping secure her educational future. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a college fund, created for Tatum Melody Martin, through People’s State Bank in care of The Funeral Chapel.