Mickey (Michael) Alonzo Martino
March 9 1934 – June 26 2019
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Mickey (Michael) Martino in his 85th year. Mickey is lovingly remembered by his wife of 63 years, Gloria, and sons Jay (Meghan) of Ottawa and Jeff (Tannis) of North Vancouver. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren, Emma, Michael, and Aidan and his sisters Victoria, Pearl and Happy, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Mickey was born and raised in a large family in Oliver, BC where he attended and graduated from South Okanagan Secondary. When he wasn’t picking fruit, he excelled at sports, especially baseball and basketball, which took him from Oliver to various locations around BC, Canada and the US. After playing on Men’s baseball teams since the age of 14 and also playing for multiple championship basketball teams, he was offered a contract to play professional baseball with the St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles). But before reporting to Spring Training, he was offered a full scholarship for both basketball and baseball, to Seattle Pacific College. Mickey was proudly the first member of his family to attend & graduate college, earning a BSc degree in 1958. He was honoured for his athletic achievements by being the first 4-year letterman in the school’s history.
During his university days, he married the girl that stole his heart, in 1955 and they resided together in Seattle for several years.
In 1959, Mickey was offered a position as Teacher, Coach and Athletic Director of Kamloops Secondary School. He accepted and embarked on the journey that would alter thousands of lives. He arrived in Kamloops and proceeded to shake up athletics in the region while adding counseling to his resume. He was instrumental in raising the profile of high school sports at Kam High and the entire North Okanagan region, and also led the charge to bring high school football to the North Okanagan region. He somehow also found time to coach multiple teams at the same time.
Mickey was a pioneer in fundraising for school athletics. He created the Kamloops Secondary School Athletics & Recreation Society (KSARS) as a much-needed fundraising organization that allowed Kamloops teams to even the playing field against their competition who were concentrated in the Okanagan and beyond. KSARS became a fundraising juggernaut that was later replicated by many high school and college programs, and it allowed Kam High athletics to flourish.
As a result of Mickey’s dedication as athlete, coach and builder, he has been recognized & honoured by his peers, including induction into the S.O.S.S. Wall of Fame, being named a charter member of the Kam High Sports Hall of Fame along with a scholarship created in his name, and induction to the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. We are incredibly proud of Mickey’s sporting accomplishments.
Mickey taught for 37 years from 1959 to 1997. In 1979, he moved to Westsyde Secondary where he removed himself from Athletics and focused on his true calling, nurturing the students and their well-being. He always championed the kids, and tirelessly went above and beyond to help his students rise to their potential. He was a huge proponent of doing what it took to get a student through high school, as he greatly valued the high school diploma. He was very successful at this task, as I’m sure many of his students would agree.
In retirement, he spent countless hours enjoying his cabin at North Barriere Lake with Gloria. This was truly one of his happy places and they spent many summers together enjoying the outdoors, and of course, building things with a chainsaw.
A gathering of family and friends to celebrate Mickey’s amazing and adventurous life will be announced at a later date, most likely in the Fall. Condolences may be sent to the family via Drake’s Funeral Services at www.drakecremation.com .
A special thank-you to Dr. Hollman, to the nursing staff of RIH 7North, as well as his long-term caregivers at Pine Grove Seniors Community. We are indebted to you all for your kindness, generosity and caring.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the scholarship in Mickey’s name (https://www.bcicf.ca/type-of-funds/mickey-martino-bursary-scholarship-fund/) or the young person’s charity of your choice that best honours Mickey’s commitment to Kamloops youth.Print This Obituary & Condolences