The family of the late Rick Martin (above) attended the flag dedication held during the EA volleyball match Thursday, September 12, 2019. The flag (below) was purchased with memorial donations made in Rick’s name, as well as a number of donations that have come in more recently. Rick was a huge supporter of local high school athletics and he was part of the chain gang for Tarkio High School and Tarkio College football games for many years. 

A dedication ceremony was held on Thursday, September 12, for the United States flag hung in loving memory of Rick  Martin. The flag, recently erected at the Tarkio Activity Center, was purchased through memorial funds following Rick’s passing, as well as more donations received recently.

Casey Martin read the following about Rick’s contributions to Atchison County athletics, through Rick’s own accomplishments, as well as his support of the next generation of athletes:

Good evening and welcome to the Tarkio Activities Center and the American Flag Dedication ceremony courtesy of the Rick Martin Memorial Fund. Before we dedicate the flag, it is important that we know a little more about Rick Martin and his contributions to the communities of both Tarkio and Fairfax.

Rick started his schooling in the Tarkio R-I School District. He attended elementary, junior high, and most of his freshman year at Tarkio High School. His family moved to Fairfax towards the end of his freshman year. His next three years in high school were spent as a Bulldog. Rick excelled in sports in those years. He was an All-Conference and All-District football player, as well as an All-Conference, All-District, and All-State basketball player. He is among a handful of players in the 1,000 Point Club at Fairfax High School. This was back before there was a three-point shot. He was also an outstanding trackster and earned several medals including a first place medal at the State Track Meet in the 2 Mile Relay.

Jim Davis tells the story that Rick was the second runner. When Rick got the baton they were in seventh place, but when he handed it off to third leg Jim, they were in first place. Not even Jim was going to blow that lead.

Rick attended college at Northwest and while there was active in intramural sports. He started playing softball for George Barnett during college and continued for many years after. He won several Golden Glove trophies at various softball tournaments. After several years of softball he turned to golf and thoroughly enjoyed golfing with his buddies. When “his girls” Micki, Heather, and Summer got involved in sports at THS, Rick and his wife, Trudy, turned their focus towards them. He offered them and their teammates and classmates his advice, support, and sometimes constructive criticism from the sidelines. He was always on the front row with the gang at basketball games to inform a few referees when they may or may not have missed a call. He was part of the chain gang for THS and Tarkio College football games for many years. Rick felt sports played a huge role in preparing him for life. His dedication to athletics gave him a foundation to be a dedicated son, brother, husband, bonus Dad, co-worker, and friend.

As you can tell, the Tarkio and Fairfax communities meant so much to Rick. He would absolutely have loved to cheer on the athletes at both of his schools as one, the EA Wolves. Rick’s generous memorial was established from the love of family and friends at the time of his passing to give back to our athletes. The Rick Martin Memorial has bought many items since being established for EA athletes who needed financial assistance with sporting goods for the season; shoes of all kinds, practice apparel, team hats for the baseball team and more. While the memorial is still being utilized for worthy purchases like those mentioned, Trudy decided, after being approached to “jump start” the 15×25 retractable flag project, to use part of those funds. Tarkio R-I Board and the fundraising committee were happy to honor Rick’s memory with his name on the banner above our court to help always inspire and challenge other EA athletes to reach the levels of athletic success as he did. It is also to encourage community members to be generous in giving like Trudy and the family have been for this generation of athletes.

As you will soon see lowering from the ceiling during our national anthem this jump start/kick-off project did just that. There were many generous donors who made this project and tonight’s dedication possible. Thank you, all.