This is Easter week and this year my heart will be heavy knowing my friend Loren Martin lost his battle with cancer. His services are Monday. He asked me to say a few words. I am so honored.
Loren also asked one of his colleagues from Ek Real Estate to speak. Jeff tells me he’ll concentrate on Loren’s character. Guess that means I get to talk about Loren “the character.”
Don’t hold me to it, but I’m thinking maybe I’ll suggest Loren was like my favorite pair of shoes - easy to put on, comfortable and always available.
I was 15 when I met Coach Martin and about to be a sophomore football player at Emporia High. He was our new coach. He was playing golf with Don Ek. I watched him absolutely kill a golf ball and I thought “what a stud.” That thought has never left me.
Like most new shoes Coach had a little breakin’ in period. His three years as EHS’s football coach weren’t much fun. He inherited a very sad situation. We weren’t only little, we were slow! We played a killer schedule and the results weren’t good. I’m not sure Bear Bryant could have made us a team!
Coach resigned after three years and did other things including 4 great years and C of E’s baseball coach. His Presby’s represented District 10 in the NAIA national tournament.
Loren found his calling as a real estate agent and to say he was unique in that job is an understatement. He was known for his honestly and willingness to always assist his clients and co-workers in a positive and constructive manner. His career spanned over 30 years and I doubt he ever made an enemy.
Loren and Nanette were the classic couple. They met at KU and she says she wasn’t easily convinced to become a part of this football and baseball player’s life. Once she agreed though they became a couple you could easily use as a role model.
As shoes grow older they get scuffed a few times and require some polish, but good shoes are hard to find – that was Loren always interested and willing to help.
Loren had a lot of life experiences: Gifted college athlete, semi-pro baseball star, golfer, card player, KU fan, father, husband, Christian, coach, businessman and friend – the list is endless.
Despite the fact our football team wasn’t very successful I always called Loren “Coach.” That’s a term of endearment I reserve for special people. Rest in Peace – Coach.