Jeffrey William Martin
September 8, 1951 - December 15, 2021
Jeffrey William Martin, age 70 of Twin Falls passed away December 15, 2021. Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday Dec. 22, 2021, at Koto Brewing in Twin Falls at 2pm.
Jeff was born September 8, 1951, to Perry W. and Alyce C. Martin. Jeff was born and raised in Lompoc, California where he grew a love of motorcycles and hanging out at the beach. He was a child full of mischief. This mischief continued to plague Jeff until the day he left us.
He graduated high school in 1969 during the most amazing time in music history. With Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, Jeff headed to the College of Idaho where he gained his OBSESSION and love for the English language- and will be sorely disappointed with the sentence structure and choice of adjectives in his obituary. He spent his summers fishing in Alaska where he was joined by his brother Tim. Fishing was not limited to Alaska, however. Even late in life you could find him in a Facebook post hoisting a whale of a fish he had reeled in off an Idaho lake or stream.
Jeff married JoEllen Steinberg on March 31, 1979, and they had two children- Joshua W. Martin and Jillian C. Martin.
In February 1982, he opened JM Kitchens where he worked for over 35 years. Through that time, he received several top kitchen awards and met many of his great friends.
Jeff married Michelle C. Goettle on February 17, 2001. Together they spent the rest of his life making his dreams a reality. It didn’t matter if they were headed to Montana to camp or headed to Koto for an 80 Grit, they always acted like they were on a first date, and everyone could tell they were completely content just being in each other’s company.
Jeff loved being outdoors. Many weekdays were passed while planning the coming weekends camping, backpacking, fishing, hunting, kayaking, pontoon float, running, motorcycle and Jeep trips. He put tens of thousands of miles on his Harleys while riding with his wife, son, and brothers. Jeff enjoyed many annual “Rats Run” rides with a large group of his biker friends.
Prior to the start of his healthy lifestyle journey, Jeff was a chain-smoking couch potato. Jeff literally tried to design a back porch setup where he could pull a cold beer from the fridge without putting out a cigarette or leaving his recliner. Then something changed. Only Jeff knows what the exact moment he decided to chart a course for a healthier lifestyle, but he chased it with reckless abandon. In the mid 2000’s Jeff was introduced to Team Weenie, a local running group. Knowing that he would be eating everyone’s trail dust, he was reluctant to run with the group. After finally convincing himself to just get out there and do it, that’s exactly what he did… and didn’t stop. Along the way he convinced other friends and family to get off the couch and join him. With his inspiring spirit and encouragement, Jeff changed the lives of many.
In 2010, Jeff was diagnosed with cancer. That didn’t stop him. Jeff soaked up life and continued his healthy journey. His office at JM Kitchens, amassed enough race bibs to have them double as wallpaper. He received several running medals, including one for a brutal 20-mile trail run (Bridger Ridge Run, Montana). Within one year he ran in temperatures negative one, on January 1st, and 101 degrees, on July 1st, with a few of his Weenie friends. He organized a JM Kitchens fun run and later co-founded and ran 10 Dos Jefes’ Outlaw Runs in Jarbidge NV with his kindred running mates. Their 10th Outlaw Run was just two months ago where Jeff mustered the strength to address his posse. He spoke with sharp wit and gave a sincere thank you for all of those in his life. Dos Jefes’ was a run designed to celebrate life and he was considered Jefe 1.0. The original master at enjoying every simple aspect of life. He would get in front of the microphone at the pre-race ceremony and inspire his onlookers with wisdom like “You can’t find the answers to life’s problems at the bottom of a whiskey bottle, but you at least owe it to yourself to check.” Sometimes he would just crank up the radio, start doing the old man twist and exclaim “Damn, it feels good to be me.” Probably the most profound moment is when he donned a cape and explained that he was moved by the words of the Guy Clark song, “The Cape,” which he adopted as his mantra… “He’s one of those who knows that life is just a leap of faith. Spread your arms and hold your breath. And always trust your cape.”
Jeff’s last labor of love was constructing his dream property at the Idahomestead. Building the rusty metal house for he and Michelle to live along a lazy stream in the peaceful solitude of Rock Creek canyon.
Through his time in Twin Falls, Jeff was involved in The Blue Lakes Rotary Club, Magic Valley Bowhunters Association, MaVTEC, Elks Lodge (which he shared with his brother Greg) Optimist club, Magic Valley Builders Association, Southern Idaho Off Road Association and occasionally running off to a NASCAR race with Michelle. He had a love for Twin Falls and enjoyed helping the community where he could. He also donated to several Habitat for Humanity projects.
Jeff is preceded in death by his father, mother, and Harmon Killebrew (there’s a story there). He is survived by his wife Michelle, brothers Tim (Cindy) Martin, Greg (Sara) Martin and Drew (Georgia) Martin, sister Julie (Pat) Casarez, son Josh (Alli) Martin and their children Jackson W. Martin, Gracie L. Martin and Henlee J. Martin, Daughter Jillian C. Martin and her sons Miles B. Roberts and Lennon W. Roberts… plus a lot of PBR-loving friends. (As a point of Jeff’s clever sincerity, he didn’t just run Miles, he also ran Lennons… just to be fair). Anyone that knew Jeff knew they were loved by Jeff. He never wanted the regret of someone not knowing how he felt, and he let you know.
In lieu of flowers, Jeff would love more than anything for you to plant a tree or donate to a charity of choice- or just pour yourself a Baileys and coffee and go sit in the hot tub and give him a toast. And please remember to shop local- specifically Koto Brewing, Twin Falls Sandwich Company, Brizee Heating, JM Kitchens. Oh... and remember, “There’s never been a better time to remodel your kitchen or bath!” Happy Trails to an American Original.