Reverend John Edward Martin

OLEAN, NY – The Rev. John Edward Martin, 80, of WoodsEdge Drive in Painted Post, passed away on March 9, 2011 at the home of his daughter in Olean, NY.

Born May 22, 1930 in Niagara Falls, NY, John was the son of the late Paul Preston Martin and Dorothy Amelia Wolcott.

John graduated from Southside High School, Elmira, NY in 1949.   He was drafted into the United States Marine Corps in 1951 and was honorably discharged 1953 as a Staff Sergeant.  A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Arts (1957) and a Master of Science in Education (1962), he was employed by the Elmira City School District as an industrial arts teacher and retired in 1983 after 27 years.

In 1986 he graduated from the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, with a Masters of Divinity and was ordained deacon at SUNY Oswego during the North Central New York annual conference of the United Methodist Church on June 18, 1989.  He served as pastor at Owens Mills UM Church, Chemung Co.; Epworth UM Church, Elmira; Erin and Sullivanville UM Churches, Chemung Co.; Pennellville UM Church, Pennellville.

Each December John filled the role of Santa Claus. With real Santa whiskers, appropriately overweight, and a jolly and generous personality, he was a perfect double.  He was also an accomplished calligrapher, animated storyteller, inspirational speaker and spiritual guide. His interests and talents also include singing, piano playing, puppetry, dramatics, oil painting and drawing, wood-working, reading, research and theoretical thinking. For many years John and his wife used their creativity and computer skills to published a family newsletter.

John was a faithful member of the United Methodist Church of Painted Post and an active volunteer for Faith in Action.  While living in Addison, he was Town Assessor, supporter of the Friends of the Addison Youth Center serving on the Board of Directors, organized the first and most successful Addison Crop Walk to collect donations for the Food Pantry, and was President and Treasurer of the Addison Council of Churches.  John also published the newsletter and was an active member of the Addison United Methodist Church. He was a member of numerous historical and genealogical societies including the Middletown Historical Society of Steuben County where he served as Treasurer.  John was a member of the North Central NY Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  He was a generous and consistent donor to Watson Homestead Conference and Retreat Center and has a library named in his honor.

John is preceded in death by his wife Mary Louise (Becker) Martin (m. August 25, 1956; d. April 27, 1983), his wife Audrey (Finley)(Foster) Martin (m. December 30, 1984; d. December 21, 2010), and six brothers and sisters. Surviving family include brother Donald Martin of East Longmeadow, MA; daughter Bonnie Beth (Martin) Padlo, son-in-law J. David Padlo, and granddaughter Paige Louise Padlo of Olean, NY; daughter Alice Gretchen (Martin) Houseworth, son-in-law Terry Houseworth of Tustin, CA; step-children Lawrence Foster, Jr. (Janice) of Nederland, CO, Rebecca (Foster) Harshaw (Rick) of Billings, MT and Elizabeth "Libby" (Foster) Guild (Bob) of Montour Falls, NY; step daughter-in-law, Maurine Foster of Corning, NY, and 4 step grandchildren, 2 step great-grandchildren, 19 nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on March 19, 2011, at the United Methodist Church with Rev. Glenn Kennedy as celebrant; reception following.  He will be laid to rest in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Chemung County, NY at a future date. 

Memorials can be sent to United Methodist Church, 201 North Hamilton Street, Painted Post, NY or Watson Homestead Conference and Retreat Center, 9620 Dry Run Road, Painted Post, NY 14870.  Messages, condolences, memories, and stories can be sent to; a memorial web site has been created to honor his memory at

John was a loving father and husband, an inspirational educator and counselor, and an active and generous member of his community and church.  We love you and miss you terribly.