Rest in peace, old friend

15 Nov


J.K. Martin, third from the right, is shown with fellow Shelley Award winners in this photo I took a couple of years ago.

They found J.K. Martin last Monday. He was unconscious at his home, and he died there. And I’m sad.

J.K. Martin was a fellow broadcaster. Until earlier this year when he lost the job he’d held since since 1990 when new ownership took over, he had been the news director at some Burlington radio stations.

J.K. was a talented journalist with a distinctive voice. I can still hear his reports in my head as I think about him on this cloudy day. Goodness knows I heard plenty of J.K.’s stories at awards banquets — he won scores of Associated Press and Iowa Broadcast News Association awards for them.

J.K. trained a lot of young newspeople over the years. He had been a respected member of IBNA and its board. And he had won the highest award they hand out in Iowa news broadcasting, the Shelley Award.

But more important to me than all those things, J.K. was a good friend.

His death was a horrible shock. It still is. It came way too soon; he was only 51. I didn’t see J.K. much. Sometimes it was only once a year at AP and IBNA gatherings.

But he always was upbeat and smiling, a cigarette in one hand and a cold drink in the other. J.K. had many “war stories,” was lots of fun and I always looked forward to spending time with him. That’s over now. Life isn’t going to be quite the same. We’ll all go on, but there will be always a void left by his absence. And I’m sad.

Rest in peace, J.K. Martin. Rest in peace, old friend.

— Phil Roberts, Nov. 15, 2008

John Kent Martin


Sunday, November 16, 2008

6:00 PM until 8:00 PM

Prugh’s Chapel

317 N. Fourth St.

Burlington, IA 52601


Monday, November 17, 2008

10:00 AM

Prugh’s Chapel

317 N. Fourth St.

Burlington, IA 52601

John Kent Martin, 51, of West Burlington, Iowa died at 11:00 a.m. Monday, November 10, 2008, at his residence.

He was born March 1, 1957 in Springfield, Missouri to John T. and Janyce D. (Bell) Martin. On July 17, 2006, he married Amy Jo Diercks.

J. K. was a Kansas City Chiefs fan and enjoyed traveling. As a young man he was an Eagle Scout and played the trombone in the High School Jazz Band. Following college, he wrote a news column for a Fairfield newspaper. He was past president of the Iowa Broadcasters Association and held many positions with them. He was a long-time member and past president of the Iowa Broadcast News Association, won numerous I.B.N.A,. awards, served as president of the Iowa Associated Press Broadcast Board, was a representative and member of Radio-At-Large, and won numerous Iowa Associated Press broadcast awards, including the Overall Excellence Award. J. K. also sat in as an invited panelist for the Iowa Broadcast News Association convention in San Antonio, Texas. He also won the Jack Shelley Award in 1996. J. K. was a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Survivors include his wife Amy Jo; his mother, Janyce Linville of Sarasota, Florida; mother and father-in-law, Delbert and Bonnie Diercks of Burlington; three sisters, Susan Lynn Myers-Cohn of Shawnee, Kansas, Karen Leigh Martin of Ocala, Florida and Amy Laurel Lassen of Sarasota, Florida; two brothers, Steven Scott Martin of Cape Coral, Florida and Christian Thomas Martin of Ozark, Missouri and several nieces and nephews.

J. K. was preceded in death by his father.

J.K. was more than just a voice on the radio and will be fondly remembered by many.

(Courtesy of Burlington HawkEye and Prugh Funeral Home.)

Copyright Nov. 15, 2008.

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Posted by on November 15, 2008 in Uncategorized


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