Quinault Elder Phil Martin Passes Away

Submitted by Quinault Indian Nation

Beloved Quinault elder Phillip Edwin Martin (September 17, 1930 to January 2, 2016) passed away early Saturday  morning, at the age of 85, at his family home in Taholah, WA. His Indian name was Hunaschult, or Thunder Elk.

Martin, who is survived by five sisters, three brothers, nine children, and wife Lynell Watt, was born in Aberdeen to Clara Bagley and Edwin Martin. He was preceded in death by his wife of over 40 years, Rose Martin, and son Terry Lee James.  He attended several schools, including Clearwater School, Taholah High School, and graduated from Peninsula College in 1979.  He had 13 siblings and grew up in a home without electricity or running water. He once commented, “If you are not used to having it, you don’t miss it.”

Martin served for many years as a member of the Quinault Business Committee under four Quinault President’s — James “Jug” Jackson, Joe DeLaCruz, and his two nieces, Pearl Capoeman-Baller and Fawn Sharp. He managed the Quinault National Fish Hatchery for 25 years. He was also enterprise manager and manager of Quinault Land and Timber until his retirement in the mid-1990s.

During his life, Martin was a member of the Quinault Business Committee, managed the Quinault National Fish Hatchery for 25 years, and the enterprise manager and manager of Quinault Land and Timber until he retired in the mid-1990s.

He was a fisherman, hunter, clam digger, scuba diver, baseball enthusiast and strong supporter of tribal education, culture and treaty rights. He was a very astute fishing guide and was featured on several television programs. He was, in fact, considered a celebrity in sport fishing world.  He was active with the annual tribal canoe journeys year after year, travelling extensively to support them.

“This is a very sad time for all of us here at Quinault Nation. Phil Martin has meant so much to all of us for so long. He has been a source of wisdom, courage and strength, a man of great foresight and a friend to all. We will miss him but we know he is with God now and we are committed to continue taking the many lessons he shared with us to heart,” said Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp.

“I could never follow in the man’s footsteps. He was, and is, so very special and we love him more than we can say,” said his son David.

Services will be at the Taholah High School gymnasium Wednesday at 11:00 am.


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