ForeverMissed

We thank all who have left and will leave a brief tribute, who have sent a card or note, or expressed sympathy in person. Please know that you are all so very much appreciated! Please mark your calendars for May 16th for Marty's Celebration of Life. Our family would love to express our thanks to you, pass along our memories, and hear some of yours! The event will take place at 2:00 pm @ the Lesner Inn in Virginia Beach.

This memorial website was created in memory of our husband/dad/grandfather, Martin (Marty) Waits 79 years old, born on February 14, 1940 and passed away on February 15, 2019. We will remember him forever.

Marty was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on February 14, 1940 to the late Daniel and Loraine (Hoffmann) Waits of Essexville, MI.He graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1963 and later received his MBA in Finance from Illinois State University in 1973.Marty was President and Technical Director at Technical Products Corporation.He was an active member and Treasurer of Burton Memorial UMC and worked as CFO at Key Largo Wastewater Treatment while living in Tavernier, FL, where he enjoyed many years of boating and diving in his retirement.

Marty is survived by his wife and high school sweetheart of 57 years, the former JoAnn Anderson. They were married August 12, 1961.He also leaves three children:Daniel (Nancy) Waits of Manassas, VA, Todd (Janine) Waits of Harrisburg, NC, and Jeri (Dave) Johnson of Yorktown, VA;eight grandchildren:Kelli Waits, Kim Waits, Korynne Waits, Joshua (Emily) Waits, Sara Waits, Kalen Johnson, Jenna Johnson, and Jamie Johnson (predeceased him in 1996); and his sister: Carolyn (Danny) Krebs of Essexville, MI.

As mentioned, a Celebration of Life gathering will be held May 16th at 2:00 pm @ the Lesner Inn in Virginia Beach. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Burton Memorial United Methodist Church in Tavernier, FL (http://www.bmumc.net/ click Give Online) or Westminster Canterbury’s Hospice in Virginia Beach, VA (http://www.wcathome.com/chesapeake-hospice).


Posted by Gregg McClellan on March 3, 2019
Dear Aunt Jo, Dan and Nancy, Todd and Janine, Jeri and Dave, and all the grandchildren,
Uncle Marty will be greatly missed. I still remember the times I visited y'all in Ohio and Virginia, and treasure the memories. He will be greatly missed. Love and Prayers for y'all.
Posted by Christen Buchert on February 24, 2019
Jeri (and family), We were school friends and although we've lost touch through the years, I remember coming over to your family home in high school and I remember your parents and brothers. I saw your dad's obit and wanted to reach out with sympathy. Unfortunately I know how hard it is to lose a parent. You had a great dad. Sending prayers your way and hoping you and all of your family are doing well!  Hugs! Christen Buchert
Posted by David Thornton on February 22, 2019
Marty and Lew Ward helped my young company Thornton and Musso get started in the water treatment business in 1990.  We were looking for a quality supplier and Mary and Lew took us under their wings.  We thrived under their leadership and we were disappointed to hear when Marty sold the business to Carus many years ago.  Marty was a fine gentleman and great business man.  We still use the technology Marty and team trained us on and we are a thriving company today with 40 employees.  We could not have been as successful as we are had we not met Marty.  You all should know the many people who’s lives Marty changed just by being a generous and unselfish businessman.  David Thornton, Zachary, LA.
Posted by Jim Grier on February 21, 2019
Marty was one of my favorite dive buddies. I first met him in 2001 on a dive trip (for details and photos, see http://web.archive.org/web/20070817202655/http://dive.scubadiving.com/members/tripreports.php?s=748 ). Thereafter I frequently met up with him, often stayed with him and JoAnn at their Florida home in the Keys, and we often went diving together using his boat, including in 2004 on one of my two 1,000th dives (several photos of Marty and his boat, see http://web.archive.org/web/20070817203100/http://dive.scubadiving.com/members/tripreports.php?s=2741 [some of the pics of his boat got switched with pics from other dives by the archive website and can't be corrected now, but the rest are okay]). I also helped Marty around his place including some construction and two different years when we had to board up everything for an approaching hurricane!
The name of his boat, as I recall, was "Andiamo", which he explained to me was Italian for "let's get going!"
I last saw him a couple years ago, Nov 2016, in the Keys while involved in a Divers Alert Network (DAN) research study. I added a picture of him from then to the photos.
Marty was not only a great dive buddy but one of my favorite persons. He was always cheery, chatty, and spunky -- what a guy!
Posted by Dorothy Ballow on February 21, 2019
To JoAnn and family ,
With deepest simpathy of your loss of Martin .
Sending my love and prayers to you all .
Dotty Ballow.
Posted by Ric Anderson on February 20, 2019
Like Mary said, it is sad to have to let go, but we are blessed with so many great, happy memories... and fun stories that will live on through us all. The time Todd and I paddled across Rollway lake on little inflatable rafts and Uncle Marty Swam next to us the whole way... it devolved into a wrestling match on the beach... he won. Huncy playing piano and Marty playing saxophone... Uncle Marty made several appearances in our family home movies, often dancing through the scene at random times, he may have invented the 'photo-bomb.' 
We are all very lucky to have had him in our lives for so long, and to have these memories for time to come.
Condolences and Love. - Eric. 'Cousin Ric'
Posted by Norm Wiley on February 19, 2019
Marty was a great friend of mine from many years ago. We were roomates at UC and he and Joann introduced me to my wife Mary Jo. We took turns being "best man" at each other's weddings. I will always cherish the fun times we had together.
Posted by Ruth Forgaan on February 19, 2019
We loved seeing Marty and Jo in church. When the men’s group would meet on Wednesday for breakfast we all appreciated Marty’s comments.  He shared great ideas and we had lots of laughs.  Plus he took pride in preparing the breakfast for us at times!  You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Ruth and Harry
Posted by Mary Jo Snable Wiley on February 19, 2019
We are so saddened to lose our BEST MAN.  I'm asking for angels to help you and your family through this difficult transition.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.  Norm and Mary Jo Wiley
Posted by Michael Poulin on February 18, 2019
I'm so sorry to hear of Marty's passing, he was a great boss and mentor to me at TPC. My sincerest condolences to the Waits family and please let me know when the Celebration of Life event will be held.
Posted by Floyd Newman on February 18, 2019
I first met Marty in the mid-90s through a SCUBA internet board that we both frequented. He invited me to stop by the next time we were diving in Virginia Beach, and we did. That was the beginning of a warm friendship. We were to do many dives together in Virginia Beach, North Carolina, Fort Lauderdale, and the Florida Keys. Marty never met a stranger, and was always ready to talk about diving. He loved to laugh and he loved life, and he was unfailingly hospitable and generous of spirit. It is hard to believe he is gone. I was hoping he could come down to NC for some dives this summer. Requiescat in pace, my friend.
Posted by Mary Varilek on February 18, 2019
Aunt Jo, Danny, Todd and Jeri -- and all your spouses and children....We were so sorry to hear about your loss. Uncle Marty was a wonderful guy. Always full of life and had a huge personality. He could light up a room! I will always remember him playing the sax and being the life of the party. I know how much you will all miss him. So happy you were able to spend time with him at the end. He knew he was adored by you all. God bless your family. XOXO - Mary and Jim

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Posted by Gregg McClellan on March 3, 2019
Dear Aunt Jo, Dan and Nancy, Todd and Janine, Jeri and Dave, and all the grandchildren,
Uncle Marty will be greatly missed. I still remember the times I visited y'all in Ohio and Virginia, and treasure the memories. He will be greatly missed. Love and Prayers for y'all.
Posted by Christen Buchert on February 24, 2019
Jeri (and family), We were school friends and although we've lost touch through the years, I remember coming over to your family home in high school and I remember your parents and brothers. I saw your dad's obit and wanted to reach out with sympathy. Unfortunately I know how hard it is to lose a parent. You had a great dad. Sending prayers your way and hoping you and all of your family are doing well!  Hugs! Christen Buchert
Posted by David Thornton on February 22, 2019
Marty and Lew Ward helped my young company Thornton and Musso get started in the water treatment business in 1990.  We were looking for a quality supplier and Mary and Lew took us under their wings.  We thrived under their leadership and we were disappointed to hear when Marty sold the business to Carus many years ago.  Marty was a fine gentleman and great business man.  We still use the technology Marty and team trained us on and we are a thriving company today with 40 employees.  We could not have been as successful as we are had we not met Marty.  You all should know the many people who’s lives Marty changed just by being a generous and unselfish businessman.  David Thornton, Zachary, LA.
his Life

Dad’s Celebration of Life May 16, 2019 (Shared by Dan Waits on February 15, 2020)

I’ve made many trips from NoVa to Va Bch recently - 3 hrs on a good day - much that time thinking about Dad, memories and what he was thinking - sometimes I’d smile, some times tear up.I’d like to share some of those thoughts and conversations he and I had. A little disjointed, but that’s how they came.

What was important to Dad
1) Family - countless holidays and summer vacations, time on his boats - endless memories, a number thankfully preserved on video.But a few standout that show why this is 1st on his “important” list:

Cottages on Houghton Lake, MI - Dad put this together, pulled in our grandparents, made for a memory filled week:tornado, power outage cookout dinner, too hot grill for brats and especially, karaoke on the porch.I remember standing near the porch with Dad watching his father, children, grand children in the pure fun and joy - now thinking this is why he got us all here.

St Maarten - Mom & Dad had just begun to experience the joys of Caribbean travel and wanted to share with the family - what was important.I’ll keep this one short - all families, parents, grandparents together.Unforgettable Christmas.Standout memory - the big all family dinner table - singing and enjoying - total satisfaction.He made that all happen.

Jump ahead to 2011 and the legacy begins to show as all us “kids” collaborate to gather for Mom & Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary in Corolla, NC.A week of togetherness - and each of us would gather like that again without a 2nd thought.

And the past two years Dad was trying to put together that next gathering in St John.If not for a devastating hurricane, it would already have happened.We are still looking at that or a similar opportunity in 2020 - the legacy in place.

2) Next on “what’s important” - Church
Dad invested his time and energy with the church.It was personally rewarding for him in the ways he could contribute.My visits to the Keys often required a stop at the church to pick something up or meet someone for one of the things he was integral to.

3) Next important - his Passions
Diving - this started on a snorkel trip on that St Maarten trip.If you’ve read his memorial posts, he touched people with his interest, generosity and passion.He made trips with Todd, trips with me and best were the several trips with the three of us together.

Connection with me
1)In 5th or 6th grade we had a career project for school - I’m like 11 or 12 years old.I wanted to be a Chem E - like my Grandpa, like my Dad.He arranged for me to interview a young engineer working at the Borden plant.For me this was completing an assignment - I just knew what I wanted to be.For Dad I now wonder about the satisfaction that he had in inspiring my desire - and 10 years later I graduated with that degree.

2)This common career allowed us to talk in varying levels of detail over the years about my job and his with Va Chem, Technical Products (his company), then retired in Florida - the shrimp business, the dive operation and the waste water project.

3)Jump ahead to recent conversations we had on retiring.
Dad “retired” at 59.Yes, 59.I asked him - How and when did you know you were ready to retire?
I wanted to be a Beach Bum - which evolved to Dive Bum.If you saw the license plate on his little Chevy S-10 in Florida, it was that - DIVE BUM.
So for the next 17 years he did what he had desired in the Fla Keys - a well to do Dive Bum.
There is a lesson there for all of us.He is still sharing - you just have to see it.

Legacy
1)First he insured Mom is well set up with the sale of the Fla property, and the upgrades and repairs at the Va home… not to mention financial security.

2)Legacy - all three of his children college educated and living successfully

3)As of last weekend - all seven of his grandchildren advanced degree graduates.

4)And all of us the recipients of his life time of examples - only a few of which I have just described.

So now to wrap up, in February after Dad had passed away, my work computer needed a password reset.In nerdy letter/number combo for the past three months its been mi55m4Dad.

He was a smart, self-driven man who knew his priorities and acted on them.He kept his “importants” and passions in his life, cared about family above all and always was looking forward to that next opportunity to be together - and here we are.

Dad’s Celebration of Life May 16, 2019 (Shared by Jeri Waits Johnson on February 15, 2020)

First, I just want to say “thank you”. Thank you to each of you for being here for my mom, our family, and for me.It means the world to us, and your love and support is greatly appreciated.

As I thought over what I wanted to say today, it occurred to me that each of us knows my dad in a different way.Some of you know him as friends, some co-workers, some neighbors and one as a sibling….some from when dad was much younger, some more recently, and some only know him through us, his family.

I, however, had the privilege of knowing him as “dad”.I’d like to share just a couple of memories that are special to me. Some of my early memories are knowing that my dad could do ANYTHING. He could build anything (like an entertainment center or a really cool finished basement). He could fix anything from car engines to small appliances.He could design anything from back porches to a renovated home!He could compose anything-- including ALL of the other instrumental parts that came together in an amazing big band song.AND, he also encouraged me that I could do all those things too, if I wanted.

As a kid I would watch him work and be his lil’ assistant for many hours at a time…. Handing him tools and screws and nails. I learned so much including how to measure twice and cut once. Dad and I took a trip once from Ohio to Missouri, just the two of us.I learned how to read a map on that trip.How to read the key, what the symbols meant, and what mile markers were.I have to admit that I never did learn to give directions around town using N,S,E&W.Just tell me to take a right or a left!Once when I won a special award in the Girl Scouts, he took me to a frame shop.Not to pick out a frame, but to build one!Special things deserve a frame…. Even artwork from a very young grandchild painted with love!

I have mostly fond memories of him teaching me to fish at Grandma’s cabin or crabbing out on the bay with a piece of chicken and a net.But there was this ONE trip…. Just dad and I headed out on the Chesapeake Bay for a day of bluefish fishing--lunches packed and poles ready.I think we misjudged greatly my abilities against such big fish!With four lines out and a fish on all four lines, we discovered that I could not get them up to the boat…. And then we discovered that I could not gaff them with that awful hook….. nor was I much good with the net since they were so big.There were tears, probably a few curse words (especially when the first fish flopping in the boat hooked his leg as he tried to bring in number two), some blood, and exhaustion!We ended up eating our lunch back home at the dock and learned to laugh about our adventures…. years later!

My dad was the “fun” dad to all my friends.He loved to talk with them and tell jokes.He loved to answer the phone “Duffy’s Tavern” or to my embarrassment “Jeri, Mister Wonderful is on the phone” when ANY boy would call the house.

Dad had high expectations for us as kids.He was so proud of us and our families and the grands—proud that everyone of us valued education and family.When I was choosing a college and a career path, I’m sure he had opinions about what I should do, but I can honestly say that I have no idea what those opinions were.He’d encourage and help with pro/con lists, but never told me what I should do.He’d say, “Do whatever makes you happy and be the best….. I don’t care if you want to be a bank robber!Just be the best damn bank robber there ever was!”I’m not really sure that was the best advice, but you get the picture

My dad was not the mushy, gushy type…. He once gave mom the same card two years in a row that said something like “Ain’t sentimental, sweet, nor gushy.Cause I don’t send any cards that’s mushy!”But what he didn’t say with words, he still “spoke” clearly to me. I have never doubted that he loved me or that he was proud of me.His greatest joy was watching us all be happy, following our dreams, and living life.

Finally, I just want to share one of my most recent conversations with dad.Just in the final weeks, not knowing how little time he actually had left,I asked him if there was anything he wanted to go and do or go and see—and he shared with me all of the things he had accomplished in his life—all the places he and mom had gone—kind of went through his life like a timeline—then he said “If you are asking me if there is a “bucket list” item I’d like to complete, some place I’d like to see, or something I’ve left unfinished, I can say “no”.I have done all that I’ve wanted to do, seen all that I wanted to see.I have no regrets.”May we all live our lives so that we can say that, too……

Dad’s Celebration of Life May 16, 2019 (Shared by Todd Waits) as written, not "exactly" as presented

To some of you, this may seem "odd" … a "celebration" of life, somewhat "casual" dress … but this was Dad. He would have loved this. Overlooking the bay, the sand, the salt air. He would have loved this.

I'm Todd, the middle child, I tend to mumble, just indicate if you need me to up the volume.

Dad (Marty) was not so much the "sit you down and teach you something" kind of Dad, probably because I was not the "sit me down and teach me something" kind of kid. To me, he was more likely to use a situation as a "teachable moment". I'm not sure if I always got from those times what he intended to get across, but I think the lessons have still served me well. AND, I gave him sooo many opportunities for teachable moments, so I'm only going to share a few that still stand out to me.

The first one I like to recall as the "Big 3.2 Beer Bust". If you are unfamiliar with 3.2 beer, when I was in high school in Gahanna, Ohio, beer that had half the alcohol of regular beer was sold to 18 year olds … so, basically, you had to drink twice as much beer. It is not so much how 4 underage kids got 4 quarts of 3.2 beer or what they were doing when the police caught them and took them to the station, it is what happened AT the station.

Our parents were called ("Hello Marty, we have Todd down here again") and Dad had to come to the police station, and we were all sitting there, very contrite. "Deputy Fife" (not his actual name), the officer that had picked up this "dangerous" gang of hoodlums had been reading us the Riot Act and keeping one hand on his weapon (and the bullet in his shirt pocket) like we were going to jump him at any moment … he was muttering something about "this kind of behavior leads to robbing banks" or similar thought. I was doing pretty good at looking properly sad until I looked over at John, sobbing and saying "my dad is going to kill me", and Graziano something along the same lines. Officer Fife has the 4 quarts of beer (the "evidence") lined up in the front of the room. Then I look over at Dad, standing behind the officer and I see his shoulders twitch, then start to shake, and soon he is holding his breath trying not to laugh out loud … so, I obliged and let out a huge "Ha!" … I just couldn't hold it in. Deputy Fife exploded and started yelling something about "So you think this is funny?" and about how funny a night in jail would be. Now I'm holding MY breath trying not to laugh out loud again. Somehow, Dad put on a straight face and got the officer into the hallway and talked him out of locking up us terrible criminals that night.

This is the event that stands out, but certainly not the only time we all heard the words "I can't be mad at WHAT you did, I did the same things, but I didn't get caught! I'm mad because you weren't thinking!!"

So, what did I take away from these times?
Lesson 1: "Find the humor in whatever the circumstance"
Again, not sure that's what I was supposed to get, but Dad was good humored through everything that we put him through over the years.

There are several times that demonstrate "Lesson 2" from Dad, but the "Torino wreck" stands out. Again, it is not about why a barely 17 year old driver was out after midnight, at the Ohio State University campus, on roads of pure ice. Not how that driver was able to drive a car 15 miles home with a broken A-arm and one front tire nearly tucked up under the vehicle. It was a VERY bumpy, shaky ride home.

I likely got the "I'm mad because you weren't thinking!" speech that time as well (this continued to be a constant theme). Anyway, I didn't know what I was going to do, I didn't have the money to fix it. Dad explained that evening that he guessed I'd have to walk to school or beg Dan for a lift until it could be fixed. He said to go to bed, we would discuss it in the morning. That weekend, he took me down to the junkyard and helped me pull a control arm and springs from a junk vehicle, and worked side by side with me for several weeks compressing springs, wracking our knuckles, making repeat junk yard visits for more parts … until the job was done. Punishment complete … the incident was rarely mentioned again.

The Torino would continue to take a beating in several additional "incidents", and was not the last time Dad's after work relaxation time was spent with one of us kids working on a car or sharing the work we'd created for ourselves. My takeaway?
Lesson 2: "Allow consequences, make sure something is learned from the experience, but have compassion".

I could tell story after story how I likely caused Dad the distinguished looking gray in his hair. "Lost" golf clubs, leaving a running car in a parking lot (keys safely locked inside), several totaled vehicles, more midnight calls from the police ("Hello Marty, sorry to bother you so late, but …"). Despite all of this, I look back and I don't think he missed many of my wrestling matches over 4 years of high school. He still picked up the phone and stepped up to help with anything, long after high school. He still gave sage advice, despite any sign that I was actually listening (I was). Brings me to one of the best things we did together, to get our scuba certifications together. While my wife, Janine, and Mom cared for our 8 month old son in the mornings while on vacation in Nassau, we took scuba classes all week. Those certifications led us to unforgettable times together, laughing, talking, healing, debating, and laughing some more. Aruba, Texas Flower Gardens, Bonaire, Caymans, St John, Ft Lauderdale, Morehead City Graveyard of the Atlantic, Florida Keys … we've had hundreds of adventures in so many exciting destinations!

So, what was my takeaway from all of this"
Lesson 3: What it looks like to "love unconditionally".
Despite my misspent youth, I am SURE there was NEVER a time that Dad stopped loving me … maybe didn't like me so much at times, but I KNEW that he never stopped loving me.

Thank you for letting me share these few thoughts … I loved and respected Dad all of my life. Just a couple of days before he passed I had an opportunity to talk to him about his faith … the bottom line of that conversation was that he had made peace with our God and he was confident that all was well with his soul. This final gift to me of his understanding of Jesus continues to give me tremendous peace, I hope it does for all of you as well.

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