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Carl Wesley MARTIN

Male 1921 - 2006  (84 years)

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  • Name Carl Wesley MARTIN  [1
    Born 19 Dec 1921  Portland, Oregon Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Gender Male 
    Died 23 Aug 2006  Carlsbad, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1

    • Remembering Carl Wesley Martin: 'Encyclopedia man' traveled world

      By: PAUL EAKINS - Staff Writer
      CARLSBAD -- Perhaps it was his love of knowledge that led Carl Wesley Martin, known to most as "Wes," into the encyclopedia industry.

      Or maybe it was the other way around, said his wife Aldea Martin.
      Either way, the former Carlsbad resident's intelligence was what got him ahead in life, and it was also what got him his second wife at almost 80 years of age, she said.

      "When you get to be 80 years old, all men, they dodder and they aren't interesting," Aldea Martin said Monday. "I wouldn't be interested in those people. If I ever found anybody, it would have to be somebody who stood up straight, walked well, talked well. And this man was brilliant."

      Wes Martin died of cancer and other illnesses Wednesday at the age of 84, less than five years after remarrying and only six years after returning to live in San Diego County following a long absence.

      Martin came from humble roots, growing up in Portland, later entering the Navy and training in San Diego. Although his formal education ended at high school, Martin found success working for a publishing company, P.F. Collier & Son, his wife said.

      What began as a part-time job selling copies of the World Book Encyclopedia after World War II eventually became a career in which he would travel around the country and advance to the highest ranks of the company, she said.

      After a brief stint with Famous Artist School International, for which he worked in Sydney and London, he returned to his previous company, now known as the Crowell-Collier Publishing Co., to take over as president of the World Book Encyclopedia division.

      In the 1980s and 1990s, Martin lived in Southern California, including many years in La Jolla where he bought and resold dozens of homes, his wife said.

      Before meeting his current wife, Martin married and had three sons and a daughter, and has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

      He returned to live in San Diego County at Rancho Carlsbad Country Club Estates in 2000, where he met his future wife.

      "We decided we'd better hurry up and get married if we were gonna get married, because you never know what's going to happen tomorrow," she said.

      Martin was well-read, a great conversationalist and knew all about computers, and when the couple watched the TV show "Jeopardy" together, he would get most of the answers correct, Aldea Martin said.

      "He was interested in everything and everybody and whatever happened in this world," she said.

      The 6-foot, 2-inch Wes Martin was handsome and stayed youthful by playing golf and traveling, his wife said, at least until Alzheimer's disease began to slow him down over the last two years.

      After a discussion once about whether East Coast or West Coast trees were prettier, Martin took her to his boyhood home in Oregon to make his point, she recalled.

      "One day he said to me, 'I'm gonna' show you trees like you've never seen,' and he took me up there, and I was breathless," his wife said.


      Carl Wesley Martin

      December 19, 1921 - August 23, 2006

      Carl Wesley "Wes" Martin, 84, of Carlsbad, Calif., died August 23, 2006, after a long and courageous battle with Alzheimer's, cancer and multiple other illnesses. He was the son of the late Carl Conrad Martin and Elizabeth Hartman Martin. He was born in Portland, Ore., and raised in that area and in Everett, Wash. Wes graduated at the head of his class in Everett High School, he studied most all his life and was an avid reader until illness brought that to an end. His great joy until lately was his ability to answer correctly 85 to 90% of the questions on quiz shows, such as Jeopardy. He bought and sold multiple residences, which became a challenging hobby. He was a golfer for at least 50 years, his major avocation. His tremendous career accomplishments over a lifetime without benefit of higher education, are a source of great pride to Wes, family and friends.

      After graduation from Everett High School, in 1939, he worked at the Navy Torpedo Station in Keyport, Wash. Classified by the U.S. Navy as an essential worker, until WWII was nearly over, he entered the Navy, and trained at San Diego, where he vowed to return some day. He served on Guam and was honorably discharged when the war ended.

      Upon his release from the Navy, he worked as an apprentice machinist, in Everett, Wash., and part time as a route collector for P. F. Collier & Son in their World Book Division. In 1949, Wes joined the Collier Company full time, and in 1951 was promoted to manager of the Portland office. In 1954, he was transferred to their New York City home office, managing and establishing branch offices throughout the United States. In 1963 his career took him to Chicago, where he joined LaSalle Extension University as executive vice president. In 1968 he became vice president of Famous Artist Schools International (FAS), and moved to Sydney, Australia, and later to London, England, with that company, in charge of all overseas operations. He later returned to the Collier Company, then known as the Crowell Collier Company, as president of their World Book Encyclopedia Division. He moved to Stamford, Conn., and became president of their Overseas Operations, based in their New York offices until he moved to California, where he resided at Laguna Beach and Los Gaviotas, Baja, Mexico.

      He retired in 1985, and returned for a short time to Kirkland, Wash. Missing Southern California, Wes returned to Carlsbad, where he has resided at Rancho Carlsbad since October, 2000, and was married to Aldea Halprin, on September 16, 2001. He is survived by his wife; his son, Dean Michael Martin and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Martin of Glen Ellyn, Ill.; his daughter, Janice Martin of Portland, Ore.; and his son, Anthony Martin and daughter-in-law, Sharon, of Kirkland, Wash. One son, Ronald Wesley Martin, his eldest, predeceased him on July 21, 1989. He is also survived by eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren; his son-in-law, William J. Collins of Ramona, Calif.; a half-sister, Cecelia Finley Cling of Athens, Texas; and a half-brother, William Finley of Logansport, Ind.

      There will be a memorial service on September 6, at 2 p.m. at Rancho Carlsbad, 5200 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, CA.

      Memorial donations may be made to UCSD Shiley-Marcos Alzheimer's Research Center, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0948, San Diego, CA, or VITAS Innovative Hospice, 9655 Granite Ridge, Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92123.
    Person ID I1360  Ward Family Tree
    Last Modified 23 Jun 2012 

    Father Carl Conrad FINLEY-MARTIN,   b. PA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Elizabeth A. HARTMAN,   b. 1895, Washington Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 12 Jan 1921  Coeur D’Alene, Kootenai, ID Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Family ID F887  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Muriel Elaine BURNS 
     1. Ronald Wesley MARTIN,   d. 21 Jul 1989
     2. Dean Michael MARTIN
     3. Janice Elaine MARTIN
     4. Clark Anthony “Tony” (Private) MARTIN
    Family ID F1156  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Aldea HALPRIN 
    Married 16 Sep 2001  [1
    Family ID F949  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S399] Obituary - Carl Wesley Martin.

    2. [S215] 1930 US Census.

    3. [S400] .