Herbert W. Martin
October 16, 1929 – February 4, 2020
Herbert Wayne Martin of Kansas City, MO passed away on February 4, 2020, surrounded by his family following a long battle with cancer. Visitation will be held Tuesday, February 11, 2020 from 5 to 7pm, at McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road, Kansas City, MO. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 am Wednesday February 12 at St. Thomas More Parish, 11822 Holmes Rd, Kansas City, MO, followed by burial at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife and soul mate Barbara Jean (Small) Martin, and by his brother Lee William Martin. Herb often recounted the story of how he and Barbara first met when he sat next to her in a class at Kansas City Junior College. They lost touch, but fate brought them together when he was on the bus and saw her waiting at a stop. He looked her up, although he got the wrong Barbara Small on the first try. Throughout their lives, their community, children, and travels kept them busy, but they were happiest just being together.
Family was paramount to Herb. Losing his mother at age 7, he was very close to his two brothers as well as their extended families. He is survived by his four children, Kimberley Spies (Greg), Barbara Galan (Juan), Melissa Blount (Nick) and Christopher Martin (Susan), all of the Kansas City area, by his brother, retired Judge Gene Robert Martin, and by his many treasured nieces and nephews. His pride and joy were his ten grandchildren, Kyle (30), Katherine (27) and Kristen (24) Spies; James (40) and Sophie (18) Galan; Elaine (18) and Jillian (13) Blount; and Willem (15), Olivia (14) and August (10) Martin.
Herb was born on October 16, 1929, in Kansas City, MO. After graduating from Paseo High School, he served in the US Army and was stationed in Japan during World War II. In 1952, he completed his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Iowa where he also lettered in intercollegiate swimming, a passion he maintained throughout his life. He remained a loyal Hawkeye and regularly attended alumni events in Iowa City.
He earned CPA certificates in Kansas and Missouri and after starting his career at Ernst & Ernst, he held controllership positions in a variety of businesses. In 1996, he retired as Vice President and Controller of Massman Construction Co.
Herb had a sharp intellect and a deep work ethic, balanced by a sense of humor. He developed many friendships in his career and served on numerous committees including the AGC of America Tax and Fiscal Affairs Committee, AGC of Missouri Insurance and Legislative Committee, the Heavy Constructors Association of Greater Kansas City Safety/Insurance Committee, and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce Labor and Social Legislation Committee.
Herb had a sense of civic duty. In 1981, he was appointed by Missouri Governor Bond to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Employment Security. He was appointed by the Missouri Legislature to serve on the Worker’s Compensation Labor/Employer Advisory Committee and in 1994, he was appointed by Missouri Governor Carnahan to the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Determinations Review Board and was elected Chairman of that Board.
Herb was a member of the Westport Optimist Club of Kansas City since 1964 and during that time served as President, Vice President, and Treasurer. For over 50 years, the group steadfastly maintained their weekly 7am breakfast meeting, illustrating their dedication to the Club’s creed and their friendship. He was a Board member, Chairman and Treasurer of the Red Bridge Branch YMCA and also served on the Greater Kansas City YMCA Business and Finance Committee. In 1998, Herb became a volunteer counselor at the Johnson County Kansas Juvenile Detention Center in Olathe, KS, focusing on anger management. In November 2019, St. Thomas More Parish honored him for 50 years of service in assisting with counting the mass collections.
In January 2012, Herb was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastasized Prostate Cancer. He met this with characteristic resilience and became active in charitable organizations with cancer awareness and research objectives, including Drown Out Cancer, the Prostate Network, and Gilda’s Club of Kansas City. Herb championed the importance of education for his children and grandchildren, tirelessly attending their activities, milestones and graduations and encouraging their interests. His family will cherish memories of Sundays at Papa’s, annual Colorado trips and hearing stories of his extraordinary life. Please share a memory at www.mcgilleystatelinechapel.com.
- Visitation Tuesday, February 11, 2020
- Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, February 12, 2020
- Committal Service Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Herbert W. Martin
February 11, 2020
As a member of Herb's retirement community, I spoke with him at length one evening when several of us were gathered for our weekly get-together. He told me that he was named Herbert for Herbert Hoover who was the President of the U.S. when he was born. He went on to share his interesting life with me in an open and engaging conversation. It was delightful!
February 10, 2020
Herb hired me to work for Massman Construction Co in 1972.
My career extended to 27 years working at Massman Construction
Co. with Herb, in the accounting department. Herb was an instant problem solver and did so in an easy and delightful manner. It was a pleasure to work with Herb for many years and to call him a friend.
Mel and Pat Korphage
February 9, 2020
Mel and I first met Herb when we began to volunteer to count the Sunday collection at St. Thomas More Parish. Herb had already been volunteering for this ministry almost from the beginning of the Parish. Herb's patience, kindness and gentle sense of humor were evident from the beginning. He was a Listener, careful with his words and always kind to those around him. Herb was also a wonderful story-teller. He led a fascinating and Blessed life.
Pat had the great privilege to visit with Herb on a few occasions and he would often share portions of his life that had been particularly adventurous or meaningful to him; his swimming, time in the Army, his children and grandchildren and of course his beloved Barbara whom I believe he missed until God called him Home.
He told me once that he didn't regret anything. He said he had never wished anyone harm in any way and always tried to do the right thing. I once called him a "good man" and it made him uneasy; so I said, "okay, then, you are an "honorable man." He humbly accepted that description; and he was definitely that.
Herb had a joy for life and certainly showed a Servant Spirit.
Through his life he touched so many people in ways we will never know. I think he changed the world for the better. Rest in Peace, Herb.
February 8, 2020
OMGOSH! I love the pictures! It is so awesome that technology allows this today. I kept saying, “oh, I like that one the best. “ but after seeing them all I couldn’t pick the best ones. As a pictorial grouping these reflect a wonderful life, love of Barbara, his children, and grandchildren and his brothers. All the pictures are wonderful. I loved them. Thank you for sharing!
I will miss visiting with Herbert. The picture where several granddaughters are sitting around him apparently listening to him is very much Herbert. He was soooo very proud of his grandchildren! How smart and accomplished they are. Each one.
Keen intellect, indeed. Most importantly he shared his thoughts, history, and was open to listening to yours. Wonderful visits.
February 7, 2020
Herb Martin was a truly great Christian man!
Having had the privilege of working with Herb for several years, I became aware of the level of respect he was given by all those who surrounded him!
Our last short visit came at the back of St Thomas More Church, just a few months back, at his smile was that same special smile he has offered everybody through the years.
Sorry for his families loss, but pretty sure he is a very happy person right now!!!
February 7, 2020
The University of Iowa Swimming & Diving program sends its deepest condolences to Herb’s family and friends. Herb was an extremely loyal and supportive alum of the University. It was such a privilege to have him stay in close contact with our program, visit with the staff and team, and attend events back in Iowa City. He left a lasting legacy with his Hawkeye family and will be missed.
February 6, 2020
I am blessed to have had Uncle Herbert in my life. As a physician, I appreciated that like my Dad (his brother Lee) he always was very thoughtful trying to understand his health and asking healthcare providers good questions to be sure his decisions were well grounded and they were working with all the best information. They really helped confirm to me the importance of good communication and respect for the patients' views. He often reminded me of when, as a young girl, I brought an Arbor Day tree to his house and it grew strong and tall. It still is there. He had a long rich life and was a treasure to his family, friends and community.
February 6, 2020
My sincere condolences. Herb was a great guy and a true gentleman. It was a pleasure to work with him at Massman. I enjoyed talking with him as he always had a positive approach to things
February 6, 2020
We lived just “across the meadow” from Herb and family for many years. Great man and great family! Herb and I did Masters Swimming together, he was a fantastic back stroker. Many Sunday evening practices I would not have gone, but didn’t want to hear from him!
Saw him last at the Y pool several years ago. I was in town for a visit, went to swim, and there he was. Meant to be. ❤️
February 5, 2020
Dear Kim, Barbie, Ginger and Chris, We send our love and prayers to you and all the family. Can still remember being a junior bridesmaid at your parents wedding and all the joyful times that followed. So very happy we were able to celebrate his 90th with him and the family.
Judy & Charlie