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Rodger (Rod) G. Martin, age 78, of Defiance, Ohio passed away Wednesday October 18th, 2023, at The Laurels of Defiance. He was born on May 29, 1945, to Gerald and Elizabeth (Rea) Martin in Defiance, Ohio.
Rod was a 1963 graduate of Ayersville Local High School where he was a member of the 1961 State Championship Basketball Team. He also earned a graduate degree in Banking in 1978 at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He proudly served his country as a Veteran of the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967 serving a year in Vietnam. He earned the coveted Army Commendation Medal of Honor. On December 24, 1965, he married Mary K. Applegate who survives.
Rod was a member of the Ayersville United Methodist Church. He began his banking career with the State Bank in 1965 where he worked for fifty years until his retirement in 2015 as an Executive Vice President. He then continued as a member of their Advisory Board for another four years.
His memberships include the Ayersville Athletic Boosters, Lions Club, Elks Club, Eagles Club and V.F.W. He also was a founding member of the Defiance College Purple and Gold Club as well as a former member of the Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce where he was a recipient of the Michael L. Schultz Leadership Award in 2015. He also was a past member of the Defiance Area Foundation serving on the Grants Committee. Rod served two, four-year terms on the Ayersville Local School Board of Education serving as President in two different years. He also served on the Good Samaritan School Board for twelve years serving as President four different years.
In addition to his wife, Mary, Rod is survived by his three sons, Bill (Donna) Martin; Denny (Sheila) Martin and Jeff (Jenni) Martin.
He also leaves behind eleven grandchildren, Kevin (Mandi) Martin; Hillary (Tom) Zumbrun; Austin (Courtney) Martin; Thomas Martin; Kaleigh (Casey) Cox; Brayton (Brooke) Martin; Ryan (fiancé Courtney) Martin; K.J. Martin; Kortni Martin; Korbyn Martin; and Kaylor Martin. In addition, ten great-grandchildren, Serafina, Jamey, Nolan, and Griffin Martin; Tanner Rea and Cooper Cox; Asher and Carson Martin, and Braxton McBride; Hayes Lechleidner; with three more greats due in 2024.
He leaves his sister, Sue Goldenetz; and brothers, David; Richard (Ginny); Carl (Linda) as well as many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his grandson, Tanner Michael Martin; sister, Marjorie Whetstone; brother, Jim Martin; sisters-in-law Sue Martin and Barbara Martin; and a brother-in-law, Robert Goldenetz.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, October 24, 2023 from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Schaffer Funeral Home in Defiance. Funeral service will be Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 11:00 am at Ayersville Community Church with one hour of visitation at the church prior. Rod's brother, Rev. Carl Martin and Pastor Jason Vandemark will officiate. Burial will follow at Ayersville Cemetery, with military honors by VFW Post 3360.
Pallbearers will be his Grandsons, Kevin Martin; Austin Martin; Brayton Martin; K. J. Martin; Ryan Martin; Casey Cox; Tom Zumbrun, and Honorary Pallbearer will be his Grandson Thomas Martin.
Memorials are suggested to Defiance Area Foundation, Kaitlyn's Cottage, or Ayersville Athletic Boosters.