Clarance James Martin: 1930 – 2015 |

Clarance James Martin: 1930 – 2015

Clarance James Martin

Clarance James Martin

Oct. 20, 1930 — Oct. 19, 2015

Clarence James (Jim) Martin of Summit County passed away of natural causes on Oct. 19, 2015. He was born Oct. 20, 1930 in Peru, Indiana, the youngest of four children born to Omer and Martha (Timmons) Martin.

In 1946, Jim Martin and Delbert Tolen, both 16 at the time, came to Montezuma to mine silver with his older brother Tom Martin at the Burke-Martin Mine. During the school year, Jim made his own way washing dishes at the Moose Jaw and working as a ranch hand for Glen Heeney and Dick Heckendorf. Jim graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1950.

Jim was an Airman 1st Class in the USAF during the Korean War — first based in Korea and later in Osaka, Occupied Japan. He was a flight mechanic for the P-51 called the “Colorado Mustang.” He also worked on the first U.S. jets: the F-86 and F-100 Sabre. His unit’s moniker was “No Guts, No Glory.” For his service, he earned the Korean and UN Service Medals, a Good Conduct Medal and a National Defense Service Medal. After the war, he attended CU Boulder then went on to work as a demolition and explosives expert around the world. In 1966, Jim, as part of RMKBRJ in Vietnam, worked as a military advisor coordinating construction projects between U.S. Forces and ARVN military. For his work in Vietnam, Jim was awarded the Vietnam Campaign Badge.

He came home to Montezuma after being Vietnam for eight years, where he and brother Tom both worked on the Eisenhower Tunnel. Jim’s career took him to Alaska and overseas to Saudi Arabia and Iran. On Dec. 31, 1977, Jim suffered traumatic injuries in an explosives accident at a copper mine in Iran, causing the loss of his left eye.

He was lifetime member and former Master of Breckenridge’s Masonic Lodge #47. He had a great sense of humor and had many lifelong passions including a love for history. Jim enjoyed to hunt, fish, read, play cards and ride horses. As a young man, he would often ride his beloved horse Ranger from Montezuma to Breckenridge just to catch the latest Western movie.

Jim is survived by loving wife Kim; daughters Martha and Tracey; son Robert; daughter-in-law Leah; son in-law Ed Tolen; stepson Kevin Burton; grandchildren Jennifer, Thomas and Sydney; great-grandson Calvin; nieces and nephews Mike, Bob, Lynn and Hannah; great nephew Luke and many friends.

Jim was preceded in death by siblings Robert, Tom and June; niece Ann; granddaughter Crysta;l and best friend Delbert Tolen.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Breckenridge Masonic Lodge #47. For more information, please visit

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