William Thomas Martin III

December 10, 1944August 29, 2018

William T. Martin III departed this life on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, following a brief illness. Born December 10, 1944, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to William T. Martin, Jr. and Betty Grace (Tibbets) Martin, he grew up in Chicago, IL, and graduated from Tilden Technical High School. He came to East Lansing to attend Michigan State University and graduated from MSU with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was employed by General Motors in Lansing, MI, for 38 years, retiring as a skilled trade supervisor.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Mary Ann (Landowski) Martin, whom he married on July 7, 1971, in Bay City, MI. He is also survived by their devoted son, Wolff T. Martin, daughter-in-law Tia, and grandson Weston, all of Okemos. In addition, he leaves behind many good friends, who shared his interests, enjoyed his good humor, and valued his extraordinary generosity with his time and expertise whenever it could be helpful.

Bill’s lifelong interest in world travel led him on many fascinating adventures. In addition to extensive travel in the United States and Canada, he and his wife visited all seven continents. Among his travels he enjoyed trips to Japan (which he and Mary Ann visited while their son was doing an exchange program there), China, Australia, Antarctica, Africa (both Egypt and a “camera safari” in South Africa), Brazil, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Greece, Sweden, Turkey, and Dubai. His most recent international travels included a Viking River Cruise on the Danube, as well as an April 2018 tour of Ireland that he and his wife shared with good friends.

Whilst exploring the world his favorite mode of transportation was traveling by train. This included the steepest cogwheel railway in the world in Lucerne Switzerland, the Blue Train across South Africa, the world’s most southern train in Ushuaia, and many others.

Since he enjoyed studying architecture and was active in a variety of groups and organizations that focused on Frank Lloyd Wright, Bill also made numerous excursions to Frank Lloyd Wright sites. Notably, he enjoyed Falling Water, Robie House near Chicago, May House in Grand Rapids, Taliesin, and Taliesin West. The Martins purchased one of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Okemos shortly after their marriage and occasionally opened it for tours conducted by Frank Lloyd Wright organizations.

Most of Bill’s friends and associates witnessed his deep fascination with all things automotive. He had the pleasure of owning and driving a wide variety of vehicles over the years, including a Rolls Royce, two Jaguars, a Ferrari, a Fiero, and several Corvettes and Cadillacs. He often attended car shows and meets with family and friends. He particularly enjoyed identifying past years and specific models of automobiles in the classic movies he loved to watch.

A private gathering for friends and family to celebrate Bill’s life will take place on Sunday, September 16, 2018 from 3-5 pm at Coral Gables Restaurant in their back room. Coral Gables is located at 2838 Grand River Avenue, East Lansing, MI 48823. Food, coffee and tea will be provided, a cash bar will be available. Please RSVP by calling the home, or emailing to

Donations in Bill’s memory can be made to the Capital Area Humane Society.


William Thomas Martin III

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Mary Ann Martin

October 29, 2018

My dearest husband and very best friend,

You have been gone for two months today.
As the days have gone by you remain forever in my heart, if not by my side.
Everywhere I go people remark what a great man you were. I knew this all along.

You showed me the world when I would otherwise have just remained
at home and never known how beautiful, vast, and varied and yet familiar it all is.

You taught me how to do so many things, from how to drive to how to make
a bed and clean up the last of a mess from a spilled plant or can of oil.

Be assurred your son and I are carrying on, admiring all you showed us and
did for us. Every room in our houses, every part of the yards benefited from
your efforts. Weston and Tia and your many friends shared in your efforts.

We reamin eternally grateful and, while we move on, we shall continue to love
you. While you always said "I can stand anyone's pain but my own" I know
that was not true as I saw you cringe at my pain or that of Wolff, Wes, Tia or
any of those you loved, even our kitties.

Rest in peace my dearest, your pain is finally gone. As always, All my love.

Mary Ann


September 5, 2018

Bill was a friend when we were both in school at MSU. We lost touch over the years as both of us moved to different places. But we appear to have both led most of our adult lives in the Lansing area without ever reconnecting. Want to send my condolences to his family, he was such a wonderful person when I knew him. Fun loving, thoughtful, and hard working. I still have a chest of drawers he gave me when he found out I had zero furniture and was sleeping on the floor after my parents disowned me for demonstrating against the Vietnam War. I'm sure he was a great husband and father, I am sorry for your loss.