By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer
BRYAN — Henry Martin, a chemist who managed to combine his loves of dahlias and Notre Dame football, died Friday at Bryan Community Hospital. Mr. Martin, who lived in Defiance, was 80.
He died of pneumonia, brought on in the aftermath of a January surgery, said his son, Joe Martin.
Mr. Martin spent most of his life in Warren, O., where he was born and reared. Fascinated with the science of growing things, he had studied chemistry at John Carroll University and Youngstown State.
After graduating, he began working for the Warren water department.
But his love of growing things was shown most clearly in his hobby, flower gardening. Mr. Martin’s best work was done with his dahlias, which won him multiple statewide prizes.
Using his knowledge of chemistry, Mr. Martin liked to experiment with different fertilizers for his flowers, his son said.
After retiring in 1980 from the water department, Mr. Martin worked part time at a nursery in Warren to help others with their flowers.
Then, in the mid 1970s, Mr. Martin added a second fascination, Notre Dame football. At first, he was just an average fan. But when Lou Holtz became the team’s coach in 1986, it became more than that.
“He really resembled Lou Holtz a lot,” his son said. “And he dressed a lot like him. I’d like to follow him around and watch people say, `Hey, there’s Lou Holtz!”‘
True, Mr. Martin’s devotion predated the coach’s arrival. However, “When Lou Holtz came in, that was just a bonus,” Joe Martin said.
Tickets are hard to come by for Notre Dame games, but two years ago, Mr. Martin and his son finally made it out to the Blue-Gold game, a spring intramural scrimmage held annually in South Bend, Ind.
A year before, Mr. Martin and his wife, Pauline, moved to Defi-ance to be near their son.
Surviving are his son, Joe Martin; two grandchildren; a brother, Robert; and sisters Ann Myers and Sister Mary Annrita.
The funeral Mass will be held tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Defiance, where the body will be for an hour before the funeral.
A brief memorial service will be held a few minutes before the service.
Burial will follow in Warren. A second memorial service will be held there at a later date.
The family request tributes to St. Mary’s Catholic Church.