ForeverMissed
This memorial website honors the memory of Martin Standen. Please come together here and share your memories, stories, and photos of Martin so we can all remember him together.

Martin was born on January 28th 1961 in Barnstaple, to his parents, Carol Shelley and Brian Standen. He grew up in the North Devon with much of his youth spent in Woolacombe before moving to Barnstaple where he spent the rest of his life. After a brief stint in the RAF (he would say - a very brief stint), Martin began his career at South West Water and, after some time learning the ropes, started on his own inventions to which he continued right up until his diagnosis.

Martin was a family man, everything he did was to support, love and provide for his three children; Christopher, Dominic, and Helena. Martin didn’t stop there, if anyone needed him, he was there at the drop of a hat to help. He really is a special man. His love for his close family and friends was ineffable, even in his final days he was always thinking of those around him and putting a smile on everyone’s face in any way he could. The network he had around him meant the world to him, he even said in his final few weeks ‘You can’t take anything with you but leave a legacy for your family to continue’.

Although family came first, Martin worked hard in his career too, in the beginning anyway, the novelty may have worn off eventually. Some of the South West Water employees at the time will know that he was always known for his tricks and pranks. We are looking forward to hearing about some of the tricks we are certain he played. Although his enthusiasm of his job may have fizzled out during his time at South West Water, his colleagues soon became lifelong friends who he cared about very dearly. 

We always knew he had a lovely voice and, although reluctant at first, joined a local choir ‘Rejoice The Voice’. The camaraderie which he shared with the choir members were very treasured moments for him. He particularly enjoyed organising and going to the weekends at ‘The Manor’ and being dragged into doing Zumba one minute and Basketball the next. It was like a family outside his own for him and he enjoyed every opportunity to sing and socialise. 

Martin passed away peacefully at home after a short, hard fought, battle with Cancer. It was certainly a rollercoaster journey but one thing he continued to say is how lucky he felt to have the family and friends that he has around him. As he said on his birthday in January 2021;
‘Take care and love everyone. I mean it, LOVE EVERYONE, life’s short.’ - Martin Standen 
So together lets do our bit, for him, to make the world a more loving place, just as he did. Please help us build this memorial by sharing your condolences and love of Martin below. Photos and stories can be shared using the relevant tabs above. 
Posted by Helena Standen on May 20, 2021
It still doesn’t seem real; I miss you so much everyday Dad. I still cannot believe it was time for you to spread your wings, but I am sure you will be well looked after up there and get it all organised ready for us lot in a few years time. You have certainly been taken from us far too soon, but I, and the others, will promise to keep you forever close and make sure everyone we meet knows how amazing you are. 

Since the day I was born you have been my best friend, you were the one I could talk to about anything and everything and know you wouldn’t judge and only guide me. The one who taught me the most valuable lessons in life. You really have been my inspiration since day dot, without you I hand on heart would not be the person I am today, I have lots to learn but you have taught be to be open minded enough to do just that. I know I may be slightly bias but you truly were the most wonderful Dad a little girl could have wished for. If one day I can live up to be just a fraction of the parent you were, I’d be doing a good job.

I say this to people quite often but of course more so lately...I loved how you taught us all to realize although sometimes people will upset or hurt you it’s important to try and see the situation through their eyes. You were always so thoughtful and caring of everyone you met, never wanting to leave anyone out or make them feel unwelcome. And that’s just it, you had time for everyone...you loved people and moments and memories not ‘things’, you definitely helped me to realise what is really important in this life. You loved to capture those times and treasure them forever. No matter how tough times got for you, especially near the end, you were still so thoughtful of everyone else and that made us feel totally valued in your life, how lucky we truly were.

Dad, I will never be able to thank you enough but I hope you felt that we all showed our gratitude for you in a way that you could understand just how important you are. You worked so hard to make sure that us three ‘kids’ were supported and nurtured whilst balancing it with discipline so we fully understand what’s right from wrong (even though we did push our luck sometimes). You even said to me in your final week ‘You three kids gave my life purpose’ and that’s something that will stay with me forever. You really proved that to us. I, and I know the boys, will do our utmost best to keep your legacy going and make you proud of us everyday, even more so that we have hopefully already done. Although we are missing the rock of our family from around the table now, you have given us the glue and made us understand that the most special gift on this earth is your family and friends and the times you share together.

Thank you for giving me your ‘quietly’ competitive gene by the way… I think it really came out when you took me to a summer family festival and I begged to go on the quadbikes. We won’t tell too many people about how at the age of about 6 I was ‘cutting up’ a fully grown man on the quadbikes because I didn’t want him to get past me. Another treasured memory was the time when we went up on the moors and went sledging for the day…it was all going so well until we went down together, anchored and made a ‘bum shaped’ hole in the sledge. My favourite time though was always you tucking me in and reading ‘we are going on a bear hunt’ to me. It really is the best children’s book ever, but only when you read it of course...I have ordered the book and will read it to my children one day, just as you did.

I take comfort from knowing that you are no longer suffering but it doesn’t make it easier now you aren’t here. Everything you ever did was for us three kid’s and the ones around you which you cared most about. We are so lucky to have the privilege of calling you our Dad. You’ll always be in our lives, just in a slightly different way, I promise. I’ll plant Daffodils every year, look after the Blackbirds and keep balancing stones at every beach I can, your favourite things to do eh.

Thank you Dad, for teaching me the most valuable lessons in life and for putting a smile on my face when I thought it was never possible. Always your little girl, forever my hero.

It’s been the hardest thing to lose you, you meant so much to me. But you are in my heart and that’s where you’ll always be. Always your little girl, always my hero. Until we meet again Dad, spread your wings. I love you.

Your littlest girl ‍
Posted by Michael Isaac on May 17, 2021
I first met Martin in 1993 when I started work for South West Water. At the time he was the ICA team leader and he led a very small close knit team of technicians. I saw Martin almost every week day for 19 years until I left in 2012. Martin was a great leader, innovater, always positive and enthusiastic even when life was not on his side.
One of Martin's first commercial innovations was a Chlorine dosing system  for water treatment. I have many memories maintaining some of these installations with Martin. Some how we would always ended up with holes in our overalls from the strong chlorine solution.
Thanks for being a great friend.
Rest in peace.
Posted by Sarah Crocker on May 14, 2021
I met Martin on our first day at comprehensive school. He nick named me fuzzy ( because of my hair). We were firm friends throughout our days at school. He helped me during our physics O level exam when I wired up my plug, but couldn’t get it back together again! He discreetly handed me the one he had just done and took mine ....shhh!
A few years later we met up again when he moved to Coronation Street near to my husband and myself. . He would often call on the door and we would all go for walks
We sometimes bumped into each other in town, but unfortunately recently we lost touch although he was often, affectionately, in my thoughts.
I will remember Martin for his sense of humour, kindness and his caring nature
Gone, but never forgotten and really missed
Posted by Dave Clemence on May 13, 2021
I first met Martin twenty years ago when I first started with South West water he was always friendly and kind with a wealth of experience I had grate times listening to Martin on our encounters at work he would allwayes give me good and helping advice as at that same time we where going through the same family problems as we some times can experience however I'm glad to have had the pleasure of meeting you Martin a true nice chap Thanks.
Posted by Martin Kift on May 13, 2021
I met Martin on day one at Woolacombe Primary School. We were sat together, and there it all started. We became firm friends and spent the next ten years giggling at anything and everything. As I got to know him I realised he was both clever and confident, much more than I was, and for that reason I looked up to him. I never told him of course. Outside of school we worked together at The Fortesque where he lived and our lives followed a similar path in that we both joined the RAF. Him for six weeks, me for fourteen years. As a result we lost touch for a few years but secretly I always knew what he was up to as his first girlfriend was my cousin Julie so there was always a connection.

I’m pleased to say that we got together again years ago and I loved spending time with him reminiscing over old times and recalling all the laughs we shared growing up. Martin always knew what was important in life and I admired him still. He was a man of great integrity born out of dignity and wisdom and that’s what I will miss the most. (Along with the giggling).

Lots of love to you all in the Standen & Shelly family. You’re all in my thoughts.

Rest in peace my old friend. Xx
Posted by Shirley Key on May 12, 2021
Dear Martin will be missed so much for always being so cheerful and helpful to everyone.
For me he has been my mentor since my diagnosis.
Even when he was coping with his own difficulties he was just so selfless and would send me encouraging, positive and upbeat messages. I just can't thank him enough for helping me. What a courageous man he was.
Martin I promise I will try and follow the positive thoughts you sent me.
Keep singing and one day in the future we will have fun in a heavenly micro choir!! Xx
Posted by Dylan Reader on May 12, 2021
I met Martin through the choir, but got to know him at our first Manor trip.
Martin was a wonderful guy, full of energy and humour, and it wasn’t hard to like him. I enjoyed hearing his major DIY antics with his recent house renovation, and updates on what ideas went well, and which didn’t. He was a very practical guy, and I liked that. I also liked how much he loved the outdoors, but most of all I admired that he had got it right - family first, work second.
It would have been a pleasure to have known him earlier, and better, but I’m grateful for those weekends and evenings I did have to know him.
I will miss him very much.
Posted by Lesley Brownlee on May 11, 2021
I will always remember Martin's kindness when I joined the choir at The Manor for the first time. He will be missed greatly.
Posted by Rebecca Taylor on May 11, 2021
I did not know Martin very long and only through the choir, but he was always a fun, happy, smiley person to be around. He had a lovely voice and was always very helpful if ever you needed anything choir related. He will be sorely missed. So sorry.
Posted by Janet Coates on May 10, 2021
I first met Martin in 2017, when I joined the Voice choir. Each week, he always made me feel welcome. He encouraged me to go to the Manor Hotel on the choir weekend away, and made sure I was included in activities and was not on my own, which I appreciated very much. I remember bumping into him and Caroline one day in town and they both invited me to join them for lunch, which I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated their friendship.
When we are able to meet as a choir again, it will seem very strange not to see Martin there with his cheery smile, making jokes. He was such a kind and  caring person, who gave a lot to those around him. The choir will not be the same without him.
Posted by Ley Holloway on May 10, 2021
I met Martin when, as recently alone for the first time in 40 years, I joined the choir. He was a cheerful friendly presence always joking and playing tricks. I'll always remember his kindness and cheeky grin and those VERY bright shirts. The choir was a life saver for me at a horrible time in my life and Martin was an enormous part of that.
Posted by Carol Hazeldine on May 10, 2021
You were a cherky 19yr old working at Golden Coast Holiday site woolacombe, you didnt do much work you spent all your time with me and my family and constant click click click with the camera, drove me crazy. You broke into your friends house to get your camera and left your name written in spoons, they didnt get it and thought been robbed. I returned to yorkshire and we stayted talked everyday you vowing to drive up on your motorbike which terrified me.. but it came to an end when i took great offence to your comment " if i said you had a beutiful body would you hold it against me" only later did i realise it was a song... you always made me laugh and smile and your photography captured every moment of happiness and beauty..your family values as a young man were to be admired and you certainly lived upto creating a very close special family to be proud of.
i had the most amazing holiday with you Dom and Helena 20 odd yrs later and the camera battle resumed. But i am so grateful it did.. we then had early Christmas in november as i was down that way and was so special.
You shared your beutiful family your home town and your love of nature..
The first boy i kissed and im so grateful your family gave me time to send you my last kiss... " Till then Martin Ill be seeing ya.xx
Deepest sympathy to all his family and you have the courage the love and part of a very special man to get you through this and life to make anyone proud and blessed to have known the Standens.xxx love always my friend x

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Helena Standen on May 20, 2021
It still doesn’t seem real; I miss you so much everyday Dad. I still cannot believe it was time for you to spread your wings, but I am sure you will be well looked after up there and get it all organised ready for us lot in a few years time. You have certainly been taken from us far too soon, but I, and the others, will promise to keep you forever close and make sure everyone we meet knows how amazing you are. 

Since the day I was born you have been my best friend, you were the one I could talk to about anything and everything and know you wouldn’t judge and only guide me. The one who taught me the most valuable lessons in life. You really have been my inspiration since day dot, without you I hand on heart would not be the person I am today, I have lots to learn but you have taught be to be open minded enough to do just that. I know I may be slightly bias but you truly were the most wonderful Dad a little girl could have wished for. If one day I can live up to be just a fraction of the parent you were, I’d be doing a good job.

I say this to people quite often but of course more so lately...I loved how you taught us all to realize although sometimes people will upset or hurt you it’s important to try and see the situation through their eyes. You were always so thoughtful and caring of everyone you met, never wanting to leave anyone out or make them feel unwelcome. And that’s just it, you had time for everyone...you loved people and moments and memories not ‘things’, you definitely helped me to realise what is really important in this life. You loved to capture those times and treasure them forever. No matter how tough times got for you, especially near the end, you were still so thoughtful of everyone else and that made us feel totally valued in your life, how lucky we truly were.

Dad, I will never be able to thank you enough but I hope you felt that we all showed our gratitude for you in a way that you could understand just how important you are. You worked so hard to make sure that us three ‘kids’ were supported and nurtured whilst balancing it with discipline so we fully understand what’s right from wrong (even though we did push our luck sometimes). You even said to me in your final week ‘You three kids gave my life purpose’ and that’s something that will stay with me forever. You really proved that to us. I, and I know the boys, will do our utmost best to keep your legacy going and make you proud of us everyday, even more so that we have hopefully already done. Although we are missing the rock of our family from around the table now, you have given us the glue and made us understand that the most special gift on this earth is your family and friends and the times you share together.

Thank you for giving me your ‘quietly’ competitive gene by the way… I think it really came out when you took me to a summer family festival and I begged to go on the quadbikes. We won’t tell too many people about how at the age of about 6 I was ‘cutting up’ a fully grown man on the quadbikes because I didn’t want him to get past me. Another treasured memory was the time when we went up on the moors and went sledging for the day…it was all going so well until we went down together, anchored and made a ‘bum shaped’ hole in the sledge. My favourite time though was always you tucking me in and reading ‘we are going on a bear hunt’ to me. It really is the best children’s book ever, but only when you read it of course...I have ordered the book and will read it to my children one day, just as you did.

I take comfort from knowing that you are no longer suffering but it doesn’t make it easier now you aren’t here. Everything you ever did was for us three kid’s and the ones around you which you cared most about. We are so lucky to have the privilege of calling you our Dad. You’ll always be in our lives, just in a slightly different way, I promise. I’ll plant Daffodils every year, look after the Blackbirds and keep balancing stones at every beach I can, your favourite things to do eh.

Thank you Dad, for teaching me the most valuable lessons in life and for putting a smile on my face when I thought it was never possible. Always your little girl, forever my hero.

It’s been the hardest thing to lose you, you meant so much to me. But you are in my heart and that’s where you’ll always be. Always your little girl, always my hero. Until we meet again Dad, spread your wings. I love you.

Your littlest girl ‍
Posted by Michael Isaac on May 17, 2021
I first met Martin in 1993 when I started work for South West Water. At the time he was the ICA team leader and he led a very small close knit team of technicians. I saw Martin almost every week day for 19 years until I left in 2012. Martin was a great leader, innovater, always positive and enthusiastic even when life was not on his side.
One of Martin's first commercial innovations was a Chlorine dosing system  for water treatment. I have many memories maintaining some of these installations with Martin. Some how we would always ended up with holes in our overalls from the strong chlorine solution.
Thanks for being a great friend.
Rest in peace.
Posted by Sarah Crocker on May 14, 2021
I met Martin on our first day at comprehensive school. He nick named me fuzzy ( because of my hair). We were firm friends throughout our days at school. He helped me during our physics O level exam when I wired up my plug, but couldn’t get it back together again! He discreetly handed me the one he had just done and took mine ....shhh!
A few years later we met up again when he moved to Coronation Street near to my husband and myself. . He would often call on the door and we would all go for walks
We sometimes bumped into each other in town, but unfortunately recently we lost touch although he was often, affectionately, in my thoughts.
I will remember Martin for his sense of humour, kindness and his caring nature
Gone, but never forgotten and really missed
Recent stories

My mate Martin

Shared by Paul Marlborough on May 12, 2021
I first met Martin around 1987 at J and S Marine while doing my apprenticeship. In fact I became Martin’s apprentice latterly and worked on several projects with him. He was always very knowledgeable and I learnt a lot from him. We did share the fact that we are both left handed although Martin was far cleverer than I will ever be.........One story Martin used to tell revolved around us both cycling to J and S together (after he moved up to Langarron Park and I lived at Chanters Hill). Bear in mind that at the time I was a keen cyclist and had all the right kit, Martin had an old sit up and beg type bike, a real bone shaker! On this particular day I didn’t meet Martin at the top of Bear Street for some reason, maybe he was running late. I carried on cycling and got to the inner relief road around Gaydon St Motors when suddenly Martin came racing past me at break neck speed. It was all I could do to get onto his back wheel and chase him to Pottington. He was absolutely knackered by the time we got to work but he was determined to beat me into work - a determination to succeed that was with him his whole life.

When Martin left J and S to join South West Water, we still kept in touch and I would often visit him at home. In fact it was Martin that recommended me for the job at SWW which I got 3 months after Martin started. We had some really good times on SWW in those days. Martin very shrewdly off loaded the Bedford CF van that he was issued onto me and took on the Bedford MIDI van which was far more civilised. I didn’t really mind too much though....When Jeff Horsman started we kind of became the 3 musketeers and built up a good bond which has stood the test of time. 

Over the last 30 years, Martin and I have spent many weekends working together on sites across the South West doing septicity installations, COsat installations etc. I would spend hours in my shed making control boxes for Martin. Martin was certainly more innovative than me and was brilliant at designing and coming up with ideas but even he would probably admit that I provided the practical element was a bit better at the making stuff. I remember one day we were heading down the A38 to cross the Tamar Bridge. We duly joined the queue and were waiting when a “lady” in a VW Golf pulled up along side, wound down her window and shouted to Martin “I’ll show you my t*ts if you let me in. Martin being Martin, he let her in front of us but we never did get the show.......

My memories of Martin and things we did over the last 30 plus years will stay with me forever and I am honoured to think that Martin entrusted me to take on his Ideation COsat that he worked on and designed himself. I promise you Martin that I will do my best to continue with COsat to the best of my ability and not let you down. I will miss you mate..
Shared by Denise Mounce on May 10, 2021
I joined The Voice Community Choir several years ago now and Martin was the first person to welcome me. He introduced me to the other choir members and he made sure that I was being looked after. I will always remember his cheeky smile and his engaging approach to life. Martin will be very sadly missed.