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Today's word on

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Those were the days:

"The way I had it is all gone now. The bars are
gone, the drinkers, gone. There remain the smartest, healthiest newspeople in the history of the business. And they are so boring that they kill the business right in front of you."

--Jimmy Breslin, newspaper columnist, 1996 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jim Doyle)


Two decades of service distinguish Loye Martindale's life

By Michelle Bundy

January 27, 2005 | Loye Martindale's middle name is community service. Or at least it should be. The walls and shelves of his condominium in Logan are covered with plaques, certificates and awards that Martindale has collected since he moved to Logan in 1983.

In less than 22 years, he has served on so many boards, councils and religious leadership posts that he can't even recall them all. Martindale held just one of these positions, Logan City Council member, for 16 years, from 1976 to 1992. He was elected out of 24 candidates when the city government changed from a commission to a council.

"I really enjoyed that one. It was like a new education. You're involved in things like zoning and planning," he said, things that were relatively new to Martindale, a secondary education graduate and supervisor at Cache Valley Builders Supply at the time.

During his four terms on the City Council, Martindale recalls several major changes that the council made for Logan.

One, a major benefit to the local economy and perhaps the "most outstanding," was the use of eminent domain, the government's ability to legally confiscate private land, to purchase land for Hyclone and Icon.

As two of Cache Valley's major employers, they provide work for roughly 2,500 and 4,200 people, respectively. Not only does this provide jobs for college students in the valley, but it keeps more of them here, Martindale said.

The council also annexed more property in square miles to Logan City than had comprised Logan before, said Martindale. One of those areas is 1000 West. One of the biggest projects the Council undertook was building the hydroelectric plant at the mouth of Logan Canyon at the cost of $15 million. It was paid off in eight years.

The council bought the current city offices from what was then Sears and turned it into the current city hall. And finally, they built the Logan River Golf Course. But Martindale's achievements don't end there

For 17 years, he served as chairman of the school board at Bear River Head Start and has recently rejoined the board. He learned key lessons from that.

"If we, as citizens, can do something to try to prevent kids from getting in trouble and teach responsibility, then we will understand the importance of becoming involved in our community," Martindale said.

Preventing crime among our youth is, in fact, our greatest challenge, Martindale continued.

"We need to be interested enough in kids to help them, to give them council," he said.

He was a little discouraged, he said, when the county used $15.5 million to build the new jail. "If we could spend the money for programs and education to keep people from going (to the jail), it would be a heck of a lot better," he said.

If anyone has authority to speak about such matters, it's Martindale. He served 15 years as chairman of the Bear River Association of Government, where he oversaw the human resources, housing, and transportation departments for Cache, Box Elder, and Rich counties. During that time, he was also on the executive board for United Way, a position he still holds, and he helped start the local food bank.

Despite all the positions he has held in the community, he places the greatest emphasis on "the importance of the family." His wife died of cancer at 50 years old, leaving Martindale to raise his 5-year-old son, the youngest of six children, alone. Martindale must have passed on his ideals about making a difference in the community to that son, because he now teaches juvenile delinquents in Box Elder County.

Four of the other five children live close by, also.

"When I was rearing my children, I told them you might make more money somewhere else, but for
overall quality and family life, stay right here in Cache Valley," he said. Only one son lives out of state.
One reason Martindale emphasizes families and service so much is because of his religious beliefs.

A member of the LDS church, he served in the bishopric (church leadership) for five years. Following that, he was the stake superintendent for mutual for five years, which included supervising church youth activities like scouting, speech festivals, road shows (skits with a moral), and Young Men and Women programs for 21 stakes from Wyoming to Pocatello. And he served as a bishop for another five years.

Martindale touched many lives through his church service, he discovered. One man in his jurisdiction was incarcerated at the state prison. Martindale took his family 180 miles every first Monday of each month to visit the prisoner and hold Family Home Evening, a meeting where families in the church spend the evening together doing uplifting activities. They did this for 2 1⁄2 years, and Martindale treasured a letter he received from that prisoner expressing his appreciation for the family and their willingness to visit him each month.

As a bishop, Martindale received another letter from a young man in the ward about age 16 who called Martindale his hero and his "spiritual and civic leader." The young man explained the "special relationship" his age group had with Martindale: "You have taught us hard work, service, direction, and how to give real love."

The young man summed up what others in the community had been feeling about this Martindale's service, "It might surprise you to know how many others feel the same as I do."

Indeed, the certificates of appreciation adorning Martindale's walls would attest to that.Though Martindale is not the active young man he used to be and now lives alone, he still fills up his time with service in the community.

For 16 years he has been the president of the Management Committee at Mount Aire Gardens Condominiums, a complex of 52 units. He is also president of the Fairway Homeowners Association, where he has lived for over 20 years.

He serves on the Sunshine Terrace Advisory Board, and dances with the residents at Sunshine Terrace once a week, as he has been doing for the last 22 years.

"Loye has been volunteering every Thursday afternoon for years. Rain, shine, sleet, or snow, he's always here," said Sara Sinclair, the head of the Sunshine Terrace Community Advisory Board.

"He brings a lot of pleasure to our residents. He cares about them and is a good friend to them. He makes sure he gives some attention to every resident that attends the dance." Martindale especially likes "dancing" across the floor with residents in wheelchairs, men and women alike, he said.

As a member of the Advisory Board, Sinclair said Martindale is "reliable and dedicated. He doesn't take it lightly, and we appreciate him to no end."They're not the only ones.

In 1991, Martindale was given a document entitled "Resolution of Respect" signed by the Logan City Mayor. The city recognized Martindale for his "high concepts of public service (that) have contributed immeasurable to improving the quality of life in the City of Logan," his ability to "(reach) out with empathy and concern to others in his community," and "his selfless service to the people of this city (with) a lifetime of leadership to his fellow men."

This large document hangs, beautifully framed, in the middle of his montage of certificates.

But despite this recognition and many others, Martindale said he is the one that benefited from his lifelong service.

"The experiences I've had through all these years are as good of an education as you could possibly get."

He encourages others around him, in his church, neighborhood, and community, to study the issues relevant to them and be involved by voting and volunteering.

"We need to make ourselves available to make a difference," he said.


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