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 John Byron Martin

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John Byron Martin

  • Birth 25 Nov 1918 Butler County, Kansas, USA
  • Death 22 Sep 1947 El Dorado, Butler County, Kansas, USA
  • Burial Augusta, Butler County, Kansas, USA
  • Memorial ID 7156405

John Byron Martin was the second of three sons born to Joseph Banner Martin and Latillie Hope Rollins.

He married Eva Ruth Dooley on June 2, 1940 in Garvin Park in Augusta, Kansas. They would have their first child, a son they called Johnny, before “Byron” joined the Navy. Byron was stationed aboard the USS La Prade during World War II. Eva Ruth would keep every letter he wrote to her while he was away.

In a letter a Navy friend wrote to Eva Ruth after Byron's death he told her this: "I am deeply grateful for being the one whom Byron wrote to as a Navy friend, for he had many friends in the Navy. In fact he was liked by all who knew him. In the many months he spent with us, we of the radar gang especially appreciated his slow, sure manner, which steadied us even when times were most trying. He could always kidd and joke with anyone and took his share good naturedly."

After Byron's safe return, he related to Eva Ruth that he finally understood the meaning of the hymn, “Let the Lower Lights Be Burning” as his ship had needed to get an injured sailor to shore for treatment and they had been unable to come in because the harbor lights were blacked due to air raid danger. When it was safe for them to come in, the lower harbor lights had been turned on and the injured man was saved. It left an enduring mark on him and Eva Ruth would request that song be sung at her funeral.

Byron and Eva Ruth would have a daughter, Bennie Ruth, in 1946 but before her first birthday Byron was burned by 700 degree asphalt that covered almost his entire body when a tower exploded at the Sacony-Vacuum Refinery of Augusta, Kansas. Byron would die 24 hours later. His funeral was one of the largest that many people would ever attend. Eva Ruth would never remarry.


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  • Created by: scrap
  • Added: 6 Feb 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7156405
  • scrap
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Byron Martin (25 Nov 1918–22 Sep 1947), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7156405, citing Elmwood Cemetery, Augusta, Butler County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by scrap (contributor 46566254) .