Richard Douglas “Trapper Rick” Martin

Richard Douglas "Trapper Rick" Martin

With sadness we announce the sudden passing of “Trapper Rick” Martin on February 16, 2019 at the Trail Regional Hospital. Rick was a long time resident of Grand Forks and will be remembered, with a smile, as a colourful and crusty character about town.

He leaves behind to mourn his dear wife of 11 years Suz-Ann Martin of Grand Forks and her children Patricia Vogan, Stewart Babakaiff and Crystal Best, daughter Rachel Martin of Cambridge, Ontario, grandsons Joshua and James, son Shane Martin of Kelowna, sisters Gail Williams of White Rock, Lorraine Martin of Victoria, Linda Webster of Toronto and brother David Martin of White Rock as well as many nieces and nephews.

Rick was born in Vancouver on January 13, 1942 the eldest child of Henry and Kathleen-Margaret Martin. The family moved to Abbotsford when Rick was 9 where he spent his formative years. He then moved on to Penticton as a young adult where he met his first wife Sharon, the mother of his two children Rachel and Shane. Sadly, Sharon died unexpectedly at a very young age.

Rick was a true outdoorsman; he learned many of his skills from the First Nations people of the Fraser Valley and was very knowledgeable about wilderness survival. He loved to hunt, pick berries and mushrooms, gold pan, work his trap lines and mine claims and did seasonal employment as a tree planter and forest fire fighter. He worked as a groundskeeper at a cemetery – he would often say he liked it because it was very quiet and the occupants did not boss him around.

His favourite story was when he enjoyed notoriety in the news for paying a fine with beaver pelts which the court deemed ‘fair tender’.

Rick moved to Greenwood bringing much excitement and colour to the area and more work for the local RCMP. He wasn’t afraid to straighten out any perceived misunderstandings which often resulted in sleepovers in the lock-up. When Rick achieved one year of sobriety the RCMP members brought him a cake to celebrate! Many years of sobriety followed.

Surprisingly, Rick spent countless hours at the Grand Forks library widening his interests. He loved coffee and conversation about current events, politics and his faith. But his passion was motorcycles and his proudest affiliations were the 12 Step Program and Sober Riders Motorcycle Association of which he was an active member for many years.

Rick had a quick wit and great sense of humour. He was a complex man who lived a rough simple life, survived motor cycle accidents, alcoholism, violence and dehydration. He lived by his own code, had no tolerance for nonsense and was fiercely loyal to those he considered friends. He was one of a kind.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, March 8, 2019 at 2:00 pm at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 7252 – 7th Street, Grand Forks.

Grand Forks Gazette

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