Donald F. “Pete” Martin, of Sanborn, New York, was born on October 22, 1930, in Wilson, New York, the son of the late Charles and Clara (Frederecks) Martin.
Pete joined the Sanborn Fire Company on September 28, 1959, where he took his first E.F. course from Ed Roll. Over the years, he took at least 27 state courses, including at the New York State Fire Academy in Montour Falls and the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He was appointed fire company foreman in 1966, elected 2nd assistant chief in 1969, 1st assistant chief in 1972, chief in 1976, 2nd assistant chief in 1978, and chief from 1979-1982. Other fire company offices he held were treasurer in 1984 and in 1993-97, vice president from 1985-88, president from 1988-92, president of the Niagara County Fire Chiefs Association in 1983, and president of the Niagara County Volunteer Firemen’s Association in 1997. He started the Bingo Committee for the Sanborn Fire Company in 1968, was Sanborn’s first bingo chairman, and was still an active bingo worker. He served on the line-of-duty committee for both the NCVFA and NCFCA for six years, chairman for the last three years. He had served on the last six truck committees for Sanborn Fire Company and on the building committee for the New Truck Hall addition. He has served as president of the Niagara County Firemen’s Bingo Association for the last six years. In 2003, Pete was the recipient of the Watson Award.
In 1949, Pete played on the Wilson Lakemen Six Man Football team that ran the gamut with three consecutive undefeated seasons. Coached by Walter J. Hutchison, they went on a 17-game winning streak and had three straight league championships. Pete was inducted into the Wilson High School Hall of Fame in 2009.
Pete served his country in the United States Air Force, where he was a radar operator. He also was employed as an engineering technician at Harrison Radiator. He enjoyed golfing, gardening, mowing his lawn, looking at the autumn leaves, Christmas lights, and spending time at the Sanborn Fire Hall. Pete also belonged to the American Legion and Oddfellows.
Pete is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Clara M. Read; they were married on October 7, 1951. He leaves behind his four daughters—who he referred to as “Pete’s Girls”—Pamela (late Peter) Treichler, Elizabeth (Dennis) Lawler, Elena Martin, and Wendy (Randy Wysocki) Martin; granddaughters, Miranda (Thomas) Josker and Jennifer Wysocki; and sister, Betty (late Albert) Goater. He is also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins. Mr. Martin was the brother of the late Stanley Martin and Ruth Phillips.