John's Story

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John "Pepper" C. Martin, 69, Goshen, passed away peacefully at his home Sunday, Aug. 27, from congestive heart failure.
John, the son of Jim and Violet (Smith) Martin, was born in Arlington, Vermont, May 17, 1948, where he grew up. He enlisted in the Army during the Vietnam conflict and served in the 44th Medical Brigade.
John's journey eventually wound up in Warsaw, where he met his wife, Tonda (Nisley), while they worked at the Kosciusko Community Hospital together as lab technicians. They would marry in 1979 and start a family in 1980 with the birth of their first son, Ben.
The family moved to Millersburg and John started working at Goshen Hospital, where he participated in the hospital softball team and was an active church member at Zion Community Church where he loved to sing in the choir.
In 1984, John and Tonda welcomed their second son, Ted. By 1992, new adventures awaited the Martins and they moved to Webster Groves, Missouri, just outside of St. Louis. There, John worked at St. Joseph's Hospital and part time as a grounds crew member at Eden Theological Seminary where his wife was attending.
In 1996, the Martin family moved to Mazon, Illinois. While in Mazon, John worked at Morris Hospital, was an active member of the church's choir, The Prairie Singers, and volunteered at MVK Middle School as a tutor and coach.
His final move came in 2007 when he and Tonda moved to Goshen.
In his final years, he volunteered at Greencroft and loved talking to the community members and brightening up their day. Last year he was ecstatic to see his beloved Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
Throughout John's life, he lived in many places, but wherever his life's journey took him, he was well-known for his infectious smile, his big heart and his sincere desire to want to get to know others.
He will be missed greatly by those who knew him, but there is little doubt that the ripples left from the goodness he provided will be felt for years to come.
He is preceded in death by his parents; sister, Janet; and sister-in-law, Joann.
He is survived by his wife, Tonda; son, Ted; son, Ben and daughter-in-law, Erica (Hershberger); brothers, Jim (Pearl) and Paul (Fran); and brother-in-law Harvey. He leaves behind several nieces and nephews who loved their Uncle Pep fiercely. He also leaves behind his wife's family that he was deeply devoted to, his mother-in-law, Sandra, and sisters-in-law, Tammy and Terri (Steve). Finally, his beloved puppies, Gracie, Buster and Lil' Sebastian, who provided him so much joy and comfort over the course of the final years of his life.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for you to provide a donation to the Northern Indiana Service Dogs (www.northernindianaservicedogs.com) in his name.
John requested that there be no service. Instead, his sons request that you please pay your respect to John by singing the first verse in "Go, Cubs, Go" Sunday, Sept. 10, right before the start of their 1:20 p.m. game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Arrangements are with Cremation Services of Kosciusko County, Warsaw.
Published on August 29, 2017
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