Martin Edward Woodring
August 7, 1927 - February 2, 2010
Martin Edward Woodring, retired rancher and cattle trader, died unexpectedly at University Medical Center in Las Vegas on Feb. 2, 2010. He was 82 years old.
A lifelong Mesa County resident, Martin was born at home in Mesa on Aug. 7, 1927, to Rondall and Aina Nygren Woodring. Martin was the first baby delivered by Dr. Ziegal in the Plateau Valley. He was very close to his only sister, Marjorie, especially after their mother died when Martin was 11 and Marge was 9. He attended the Bull Creek school in Molina, the school in Mesa and graduated from Collbran Union High School. Martin was married to his high school sweetheart, Bonnie Jean Dedmon, on Feb. 22, 1946. He then was called to duty and served in the European campaign in WWII.
After his discharge, he came home to work with his father on the family ranch. Martin and Jean then had four children: Mary, Barbara, Martin Jr. and Craig. In the early 1950s, Martin began to buy and sell cattle as a business alongside the ranch to supplement their income and enlarge the ranch. He liked the challenge of this work, and each year his business grew. Martin bought and developed ranches in Mesa and Aberdeen, S.D., and returned to Colorado to ranch in Steamboat Springs and Maybell. By the time all of the children had grown, Martin and Jean were traveling throughout the West and Midwest, buying and selling cattle while still running the family ranching business in Mesa. With Martin’s business ability and Jean’s charm, their business did very well and they made many lifelong friends. After almost 57 years of marriage, Jean died Jan. 6, 2003. It was a very lonely time for Martin, but luckily he met Carol Neigut in early 2004 and married her in February 2005. With her companionship, he again started to enjoy life. They spent the last five years together enjoying the warmer winters in Mesquite, Nev., and the summers on the ranch in Mesa. They enjoyed traveling to visit friends and family. Martin especially liked the time they went to Woodring Mountain in Georgia, where the family originated.
Martin worked hard and played hard. He loved the cattle business and the Plateau Valley. He thought heaven started at the Utah border and ended at the Continental Divide. No matter where he went, he always loved coming home. Martin was competitive, whether at work or at play. He was still trading cattle until the very end. He also loved to play cards. Panguini and pinochle were two of his favorites. Martin and Jean had many card parties over the years. Lately, he liked playing blackjack and pai gow in Mesquite. On Sundays, he always played in the first blackjack tournament, sitting in chair one, at table one. To honor his memory, on Feb. 7 his friends in Mesquite reserved that chair at that table for him.
Martin is survived by his wife, Carol; his sister, Marge Smith; his children: Mary Nichols, Barbara (John) Auditore, Martin (Sandee) Woodring Jr., and Craig (Jennifer) Woodring; 10 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and two more expected this year.
The graveside service was held at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 13 at the Mesa Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the Hospice of Plateau Valley, P.O. Box 294, Collbran, CO 81624.