Ed Martin Dies at Age 90; Was Former Sitka Resident

James “Ed” Martin


James “Ed” Martin passed away peacefully on Jan. 8, 2022, at the age of 90 in his home in Hood River, Oregon.

“Ed jumped in his gasser, did a burn-out, and fixed his eyes on the starting-line Christmas tree. When he saw green, he popped the clutch, put he pedal to the metal, and hit the finish line on that great drag strip in the sky.”

Ed was born in Mabelvale, Arkansas, on June 30, 1931. As a child he milked cows on the family dairy farm until the Great Depression and the dust bowl forced the family to head for California where they settled in Redondo Beach. At a local drag strip, barely able to reach the pedals and see over the wheel, Ed learned to race hot rods. He became a member of the Drifter car club which eventually was featured in Hot Rod Magazine.

While working at Metlox Pottery in Manhattan Beach he met the love of his life, Joyce. Together they spent the next 70 years loving, working, laughing, and arguing. After losing all their savings on a “sure-thing” system for making big money at the horse track and two years in the U.S. Army in Germany, Joyce and Ed moved to Alaska and worked at Island Logging Company. It was a floating camp that did A-frame logging which pulled trees down to the water to be rafted and tugged to the mill. It was anchored in many bays along the inside passage, primarily in DeGroff Bay. They lived at the floating camp for several years where Ed worked as a logger and Joyce worked in the kitchen. Ed suffered from cold feet and was undoubtedly the first logger in Alaska to wear electric socks. 

Eventually, with their son Marty needing to start school and the upcoming birth of their daughter Jamie, and in spite of finally having warm feet, Ed and Joyce moved to Sitka and opened Tri-Ways Marina. It was located on Katlian Street between ANB Harbor and Sitka Sound Seafoods.

In addition to usual marina activities, they repaired boat engines, sold sporting goods, and the first Boston Whalers, Honda motorcycles, and Schwinn bikes in Sitka.

With the birth of their youngest son Mitchell, Ed and Joyce started a new business venture: a construction company that would champion affordable homes in Sitka, bringing the first modular home concept to town. Martin Construction, which eventually became Martin Enterprises, became a successful family venture for more than 50 years.

One of Ed’s joys was all the trips to Aleutkina Bay aboard his 36-foot Unflite, The Doo-Dah, named after a horse racing song. From its stern he landed a 52-pound king salmon.

He was never happier than when working on cars, and over the last 20 years he restored numerous classic vehicles in his garages in Hood River.

Ed’s last words were, “I had an amazing life and am thankful for my family and their love.”

Ed is survived by his wife, Joyce, his sister Muriel McElhaney, his children and their spouses, Marty and Liza Martin, Jamie and John Licari, Mitch and Jill Martin.

He also is survived by his grandchildren, Sydney and Cory Eubanks, Michelle and Scott Jones, Morgan and Mylan Bruno, Vince Licari, Jacob and Aayrn Licari, Xavier Martin and Sofia Martin, and great-grandchildren Safaya Mann, Mason Martin, Joyce Bruno, and Athena Jones.

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At a Glance

(updated 8-17-22)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 12:15 pm Wednesday, August 17.

New cases as of Wednesday: 1,444

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 277,007

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,296

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,843

Case Rate per 100,000 – 198.11

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "High.'' Case statistics are as of Wednesday.

Case Rate per 100,000 – 211.20

Cases in last 7 days – 18

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,022

Hospitalizations (to date) – 29

Deceased (cumulative) – 7

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






August 2002

 Electric department officials are asking Sitkans to conserve electricity over the next few days while the city recovers from a three-hour power outage caused by a mudslide knocking out a span of the main hydropower transmission line near Heart Lake.


August 1972

Legionnaires of the American Legion, Sitka Post No. 13, have been appointed to key committees in the state department. They are George H. Inman Jr., Carroll E. Kohler, Raymond C. Perkins and Edward J. Flynn.