Obituary of Mikel Martin
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Mikel passed away surrounded by family at the age of 67 on February 20th, 2023, at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto following a two-year battle with a rare jejunal adenocarcinoma cancer. Mikel was born in Circleville, Ohio to Lorne & June Martin. He grew up in Michigan and later moved to Santa Cruz, CA in his early teens, attending Scotts Valley Intermediate School, Soquel High School, Cabrillo College and Monterey Peninsula College. Mikel started his 37-year career with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) when he graduated from high school and continued his fire science education throughout his employment. He graduated from the Fire Academy in 1978, working at various ranks until becoming a Helitack Captain in 1983. He was very proud of becoming a Peace Officer for the State of California in 1999. Mikel played a huge role in the San Benito-Monterey Unit as one of the first Helitack Captains at the Bitterwater Helitack Base. He would go on to serve as Training Battalion Chief (B-4607), Battalion Chief (B-4616), Administrative Officer (D-4602), and Assistant Chief of Northern Division (D-4604). He then became Unit Chief of the Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit in 2005, and ultimately retired after holding the position of Southern Region Chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in December 2010. In addition to his many professional accomplishments, he was a loving father to his son Evan and daughter Kayla. Mikel loved cooking, building fires and enjoyed being outdoors. He spent much of his free time hunting, fishing, and working on projects outside. He looked forward to his yearly Shasta houseboat trips with the same group of friends of many years. He also spent a lot of time pig hunting and going on ranch rides with long-time friend, Jack Clark. He spent time with many close friends and was always there to lend a hand to anyone in need. In 2012, he met Cindy who became the love of his life, whom he married in 2015. They blended their adult families from the very beginning and spent many years making great memories together at the family compound and on their vacation adventures. He had a larger-than-life personality and was funny, loud, genuine, and wise. Mikel’s humor and his generosity knew no bounds. At the end of the day, there was always a gorgeous sunset created by “The Boss” that he posted on Facebook with words of insight and reflection. He enjoyed giving advice, playing practical jokes, and always found a way to share his thoughts and knowledge with everyone. Mikel’s strong faith in God carried him through every challenge he faced in life and especially during his illness. From the beginning of his diagnosis in 2021, he kept a positive attitude and lived each day to the fullest no matter how he felt. He was truly an inspiration to us all. Mikel is survived by his devoted wife, Cindy Tyler; his son Evan Martin (Angela Ghio), Santa Cruz, CA; his daughter Kayla Martin & granddaughter Sophia, Redding, CA; four stepdaughters in Hollister: Melissa Casillas (Jamie), Jenny Waller (Mike), Alexis Marcus, and Jessica Regan (Dylan) and six grandchildren McKenna Casillas, Connor Casillas, Jaya Waller, Chase Waller, Tyler Marcus, Olivia Marcus, and Baby Girl Regan due in May. Mikel is also survived by his sister, Vicki Martin, Stockton, CA. A celebration of Mikel’s life will be held at the Hollister Elks Lodge, 351 Astro Drive, Hollister on Saturday, April 1, 2023, at 10:30 AM. In his honor, memorial donations can be made to the nonprofit CAL FIRE Benevolent Foundation, http://www.calfire.foundation/ by way of the donation link on their webpage.