Quinault Indian Nation elder Phillip Edwin Martin, 85, passed away early Jan. 2 at his family home in Taholah. His Indian name was Hunaschult, or Thunder Elk.
Martin was born in Aberdeen, Wash. to Clara Bagley and Edwin Martin. 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. “If you are not used to having it, you don’t miss it,” Martin said.
Martin served for many years as a member of the Quinault Business Committee under four Quinault presidents – 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.
He was a fisherman, hunter, clam digger, scuba diver, baseball enthusiast and strong supporter of tribal education, culture and treaty rights. Martin was an astute fishing guide and was featured on several television programs and was well known in the sport fishing world. He was active with the annual tribal canoe journeys year after year and traveled extensively to participate and support participants.
He is survived by wife Lynell Watt, nine children, five sisters and three brothers. He was preceded in death by his wife of more than 40 years, Rose Martin, and son Terry Lee James.
“This is a very sad time for all of us here at Quinault Nation,”said Quinault Nation President Fawn Sharp. “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,” Sharp said.
“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 son David.
Services will be at the Taholah High School gymnasium at 11 a.m. on Jan. 6.