On Monday, Oct. 14, Edwin McCloud Martin of Las Animas died at the age of 92.
Edwin was born in 1927, in Hansford County, Texas, to Mack and Minnie Martin. He started learning shoe repair and boot-making early after he had to quit school at 13 to support his family.
He served as a medic in the Army during World War II. Following the war, he worked for several boot-makers in the Texas Panhandle before moving to Amarillo, where he joined his brother, Vernon, in several Western store and boot-making ventures.
In 1952, he met and married his beloved Eleanor Sue Brown and they had two sons and a daughter before moving to Boulder, Colo., in 1964, where he started both Martin’s Shoe Repair and Martin’s Boot and Saddlery.
In 1972, Edwin and his family left Boulder and he successfully started shops in several other locations, but Boulder called him back home in 1977, where he started Tepee Western Store with his brother, Robert, and his son, Paul. In 1989, Edwin and Eleanor moved back to Las Animas, where they lived for the rest of their lives.
Edwin is survived by two of his children, Perry (Deanne) Martin of Arvada and Kana Martin Estrada of Louisville; as well as his daughter-in-law, Donna Martin Wygal of Searcy, Ark. He also is survived by nine grandchildren: Curtis (Tammy) Estrada and Jason (Steve Mowry) Estrada of North Carolina, Gregory Estrada and Nathan (Patty) Estrada of Colorado, Rebecca (Jason) Thomas, Michael Martin and Jacob Martin all of Arkansas, and Emily (Eric) Fowler and Lindsey (James) Baumgardner, both of Colorado. He also is survived by his brother, Vernon Martin; his sister, Pauline (Abdul) Saud; and his sister-in-law, Mateel Brown, all of Texas; 16 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor; his son, Paul; two brothers, Robert Martin and Howard Glen Martin; and three sisters, Clara Maxine Martin and Doris (Lee) Bickerstaff and Evylene Martin.
Edwin was a master boot-maker, having worked in boot-making for over 72 years. He was respected for his craftsmanship by both customers and boot-makers alike. Edwin loved to laugh and was a great storyteller. He dabbled in painting off and on for years, but some of his most extraordinary paintings were done after he was almost blind the last few years of his life. He will be missed!
The family is incredibly grateful for the amazing help that the following people gave Edwin during his last years: Vivid Tomlin, Brenda Whattler, Forrest Martin, Lavonne Garrison, Maria Medina and Lisa Rheinheimer. Many thanks also are extended to Arkansas Valley Hospice and Bent County Health Care Center.