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Jack Griffin “Griff” Martin

  • Birth 10 Oct 1944 USA
  • Death 9 Aug 1988 Lynden, Whatcom County, Washington, USA
  • Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Half of Jack's ashes were spread over Mt. Baker and the other half were spread over his favorite hunting area near Winthrop, WA
  • Memorial ID 10280332

City of Lynden Patrolman Martin suffered a fatal heart attack following a violent struggle with an intoxicated, disorderly suspect, endangering not only his own life but the lives of motorists in the middle of a state highway. He and I, his partner and best friend had responded to backup a state trooper who was attempting to apprehend a highly intoxicated walker, running in and out of traffic. The suspect had nearly caused a semi truck to lose control and crash into a ditch. Officer Martin and I located the suspect, standing in the middle of the State Highway. The suspect ignored lawful commands to comply and get out of the roadway. The suspect ran directly on the centerline of the road and we pursued on foot. Officer Martin reached him first and was able to tackle him, to prevent him from jumping into the path of vehicles, harming him, motorists and us. As we struggled and apprehended the suspect, Officer Martin collapsed on him. After applying handcuffs, the suspect was lying there next to us. I radioed that an officer was down and started CPR. The state trooper arrived on scene moments later and assisted me with CPR. Meanwhile, the suspect started rolling his body into us to prevent us from effectively performing CPR on our fallen comrade. An additional officer arrived on scene and was able to secure the suspect away from us to prevent further harm and interference. Officer Jack G "Griff" Martin never regained consciousness and died at the scene. This occurred almost 23 years ago but not a day goes by that he is not fondly thought about.

Our new Police Department was named and dedicated to Jack's memory in 2006. Jack and I had been volunteer firefighters together, and just days before his death, we had fought a commercial structure fire in heat of over ninety degrees and coupled with the heat of the blaze, hundreds of degrees hotter. The physical exertion spent during his work on that fire undoubtedly contributed to the trigger mechanism of his death. His son had joined our fire department just a short time before his dad's death, and responded to his aid as a brand new firefighter. Prudently, the on duty firefighters kept him away from the scene and he assited with ancillary details of the call. Jack and his son never were able to share a moment of "eating smoke" together, which was unfortunate. His son David went on to rise in the ranks with me at the Fire Department where we both obtained the rank as Captains (Green Shift and Red Shift) David went on to be a Fire Training Captain in a department in Eastern Washington.

Jack's daughter Susan, moved away from the area after getting married and Jack never got to ever meet his grandchildren. Jack's widow Barb, grieved over her husband's death and sometime later remarried another firefighter from another jurisdiction and keeps the family tradition alive and well.

Jack received the State of Washington Law Enforcement Medal of Honor, the highest law enforcement award, which was presented to his son David by the governor of the State of Washington. Jack's name is immortalized not only in the State of Washington Law Enforcement Memorial, but on the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Per Jack's wishes, after his cremation, his ashes were separated and David I spread half over the summit of Mt. Baker, from a small plane at about 13,000 feet and other fellow officers who hunted with him, spread the other half at his favorite deer hunting spot in Eastern Washington.

I want to give my love and deepest appreciation to Rodeogirl, who created Jack's memorial. Darla has created many memorials to our fallen comrades and victims of horrendous crimes that you can view in her virtual cemeteries. God Bless you my friend for not only the love you gave my best friend, but also the love you give to people. In addition, thank you so much for transferring Jack's memorial into my care. I look forward to our long days of friendship and also to support your work and efforts on behalf of our public service brothers and sisters and the victims of crime. With Love, your friend always.

I also want to give my love and deepest appreciation to Butterfly, who sponsored my best friend's memorial ;-), and who not only creates memorials for our fallen officers, victims of horrendous crimes and disasters, but also helped me by finding my best friend within the ranks of Find A Grave. Thank you so much Khaylayne, your officer spirit shines through, as does your love for the poor souls here and those still living. My deepest thanks and appreciation to you for assisting me with creating my second memorial. It really made a big difference in its completed publication. I look forward to future collaborations. I am eternally grateful to you Butterfly. With my love, your friend forever and always You would have made a great cop.

See more Martin memorials in:

  • Maintained by: He Who is Formerly Known as zenmaster
  • Originally Created by: Darla Mays (Rodeogirl73)
  • Added: 5 Jan 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10280332
  • Butterfly
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Jack Griffin “Griff” Martin (10 Oct 1944–9 Aug 1988), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10280332, ; Maintained by He Who is Formerly Known as zenmaster (contributor 47179541) Cremated, Ashes scattered, who reports a Half of Jack's ashes were spread over Mt. Baker and the other half were spread over his favorite hunting area near Winthrop, WA.