Stories By Ron Comm

My memories of Marty started over 50 years ago when i moved to a small dorm in Macomb at WIU.  As I think back my early memories involved his tremendous athletic talents. I had decided to quit the football team the previous semester and Marty who became the king of intramural athletics at WIU did not have to encourage me to join our small dorms flag football team.

I was amazed by the rather large and talented athletes we had in this one floor of 20 or 30 guys.  Besides Marty from Brother Rice we had the large and wild Omahoney twins who were wrestlers and also from Brother Rice along with a host of other characters. Eventually we both became brothers of the vaunted Phi Sig fraternity who ruled intramural sports.  But that was a year or so later and now our lowly dorm was facing the legendary Phi Sigs in the championship gave off a tournament.  Led by Marty we went on to win the game as he led us to a great upset

The Phi Sigs were a very sports minded frat and i decided to join my junior year.  I asked Marty  to be my pledge father and when I asked him for advice during that horrible pledge period he would give me that wry smile or grin of his and say “deal with it”

Marty went on to rule intramural  athletics at WIU for years and only played water polo as a team sport.  I know he could have played every major varsity sport at western with his incredible athletic talent. I rejoined the football team for my last 3 years and talked Marty into  trying out for wide receiver our junior year.   Unfortunately that wads short lived and Marty decided he had other priorities to pursue.  He would have begun a great wide receiver.

We went our separate ways as most do after college but I had a job in the late 70’s and 80’s that required a lot of travel.  Fortunately a fair amount of that travel was to the Bay area so I got to visit with Marty on a number of occasions.  I remember playing both racket ball and tennis with Marty which I thought I was pretty good at and finally the chance to beat him at some athletic activity.  It never happened.

Anyone who knew Marty knew what a generous and caring person he was including setting up guests to play the fantastic golf courses he was members of at various times.  When my son was visiting colleges to decide where he wanted to study and join the golf team Marty invited Brad to stay with him and to take him to play at his course.  Later he hosted two close friends at Monterey who he never met before so they could check them off their bucket list.

Finally myself and Dr Younger, a close friend made plans to stay with Marty and Mary where he got us on Cypress Point and of Course Monterey in 2018.  I got that dreaded call from Marty explaining that he just got diagnosed with esophageal problems and other then not staying with he and Mary he insisted that we keep our trip.  It was the week all the testing was going on but Marty played that one round at Cypress with us and I suspect it may have been his last round of golf.  Of course he set us up to play with you and others the next two days.

Over the next months Marty and I stayed in touch frequently and he displayed a great fighting and never give up attitude.  All of these things amplify his caring, giving and selfless attitude that he carried through life and I am fortunate to have been able to call him a friend.  He will be missed but never forgotten.

Ron Comm


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