Elder Douglas James Martin, former member of the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy, passed away on Jan. 23, 2010, in Hamilton, New Zealand. He was 82.
"Douglas J. Martin, to me, was in a class all by himself," said Elder Glen L. Rudd, a released member of the Seventy who served with Elder Martin in an Area Presidency. "In his positions he served faithfully and well in different assignments."
Elder Martin served in many capacities in the Church ranging from the ward level to a leader worldwide.
When Elder Martin was sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 1987, only two weeks before he was planning to retire from being a manager of a plastics molding plant, he become the first from New Zealand to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy.
In that calling, he first served as second counselor in the Phillipines/Micronesia Area presidency from 1987-88 until later that year when he became the second counselor in the Pacific Area presidency.
In 1989, he was sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy where he served until his release in October 1992. In that capacity, he served as first counselor in the Pacific Area from 1989-90, and later as president of the Pacific Area from 1990-92.
"He traveled far and wide throughout the Pacific Area and gave his usual devoted attention to every matter possible," Elder Rudd said. "He was known and loved by the people in the islands as well as all of Australia and New Zealand."
Elder Martin was born in Napier, New Zealand, on April 20, 1927. When he was 3, Jesse Jamieson and George Martin adopted him into their family.
At the age of 24, Elder Martin met Amelia Wati Crawford, whose example of living the gospel brought him into the Church. He was baptized in 1951 in a creek at Korongata, a Maori center near Hastings.
After his baptism he served a full-time mission; upon returning home, he and Amelia traveled to Hawaii to be married in the temple. Together they had four sons, three of whom are still living.
The temple has been an important part of Elder Martin's life. Shortly after the New Zealand Temple was dedicated in 1958, he was called to be a sealer. During the temple's first four years of operation, he served as the temple recorder. After serving as a member of the Seventy, Elder Martin served as the Hamilton New Zealand Temple president, from August 1992 to September 1995.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010, in the Hamilton New Zealand Stake Center. Elder Tad R. Callister, Pacific Area president, presided and spoke at the funeral.