Louis James Martini
Louis James Martini, born August 17, 1925, passed away peacefully at the Nanaimo General Hospital Palliative Care Unit on Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Lou was born and raised on a ranch just south of Cardston, Alberta. His years spent riding horses in the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains led him to compete in many a rodeo as a bareback and saddle bronc rider. He traded in his boots and spurs for the life of an entrepreneur as he moved to Lethbridge, Alberta in 1949 where he soon owned and operated a successful heating, air conditioning and roofing business. Lou made the seamless shift from cowboy to mariner when, in 1965 he decided to leave the bald and windy prairies of Alberta for the seascape that is Nanaimo, B.C. It didn’t take him long to establish a similar air conditioning and heating business. He became a well-known and respected fixture in the construction mainstream, and for most of his years in business on the Island, he worked collaboratively with his son and business partner, Gene and his loving nephew and namesake, Louis Devault.
Lou was one of four children, the only son. He was predeceased by his older sister, Alyce and is survived by his two younger sisters, Esther and Rita, all of Great Falls, Montana. He will be forever remembered by his four caring children, Sharon (Price) of Nanaimo, John of Osoyoos, B.C., Gene of Errington, B.C. and Jamie of Coquitlam, B.C. In his passing, Lou leaves ten grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.
Lou touched the lives of many friends and acquaintances with his gregarious character and his renowned generosity. His Friday happy hours in his kitchen were legendary. They were attended with laughter and anticipation by friends and family alike where Lou would hold court, strum his guitar, sing country and western and often throw in his own lyrics to the delight of the gathering.
Lou’s remains will be cremated and a hearty Celebration of Life gathering will take place in the reception area of the Sands Funeral Chapel on Saturday, June 18 from 2:00 to 5:00 P.M. Sands Funeral Chapel is located at 1 Newcastle Avenue, Nanaimo, B.C. (250-753-2032). It is hoped that many of his friends, business associates and family will stop by to say “Adios”.