Kenneth (“Ken”) D. Martin of Fredon Township, N.J., went to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday, May 24, 2020, at his home, due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 85.
Kenneth was the son of the late Peter Martin and Nellie (Egedy) Martin and, for 59 years, the loving husband of Alice (DeVries) Martin. He grew up in Clifton, N.J., working in the family business, Martin Dairy and Creamery, where he learned at an early age to be enterprising. By age 12, he had established a paper route, which tripled in size, enabling him to set aside funds for his future, including his education at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
He moved to Newton, N.J., in 1959 to manage and work the two dairy farms in Sussex County. He improved and expanded the milking process of over 100 cows, installing a pipe line and bulk tanks in the barn. He delivered the milk in a refrigerated truck to the creamery in Clifton, to be pasteurized and sold door to door on their established milk routes. About ten years later, the local dairy industry started to change in Sussex County.
Ken, in his entrepreneurial spirit and forward thinking vision, started the transition from farmer to a construction company, branching out to become a self-taught real estate developer. Along with his family and employees, he built the commercial area known as the Sussex County Mall. Over the years, he developed many other properties throughout the surrounding area.
Kenneth was a faithful worshiper and elder at the Lafayette Federated Church. Prior to that, he served as an elder at the Newton Christian Reformed Church and on the Board of the Newton Christian School (now Northwest Christian School). He was the chairman of the Clyde Dupin Crusade in Sussex County and worked on the committee to bring the Billy Graham Crusade to the Meadowlands. Ken was also at the helm of the Ron Hutchcraft “Make a Difference” weekend. He was a member of the Sussex Camp of Gideons International. Ken was also a civic-minded man. While a dairy farmer, he worked with the Christian Farmers Organization. He was Chairman of the Hampton Township Planning Board, a longtime member of the Hampton Township Rotary Club, and an Advisory Board Director of the Lakeland Bank. His great work ethic, generous giving of himself, and the wisdom he imparted to those who asked will be greatly missed.
Survivors include his wife, Alice, three sons and three daughters and spouses, Stephen Martin (Sue) of Hampton Township, Kevin Martin (Wilma) of Fredon Township, Daniel Martin (Susan) of Gloucester, Mass., Kathy Martin of Newton, Sandra (Jean-Mark) Lenze of Branchville, and Christy (Charles) Blend of Corpus Christi, Texas. Kenneth was thankful for his 11 grandchildren and his great-grandson.
He was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Ralph V. Martin, formerly of Wayne, N.J.
Due to government restrictions, private graveside services for immediate family were held at Newton Cemetery under the direction of the Smith-McCracken Funeral Home, Newton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607; and Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, P.O. Box 400, Harrison, AR 72602.