Martin E. Thomas

February 08, 1944 - August 31, 2020

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PLEASE NOTE: The date of the visitation and service have been postponed at this time due to health reasons.

Martin Ellett “Marty” Thomas, 76, of Hudson died Monday, August 31, 2020, at Parkview Randallia Hospital in Fort Wayne.

Marty was born February 8, 1944, in Washington, D.C. to Joseph Edwin and Virginia (Ellett) Thomas of Silver Spring, MD. He is a graduate of Northwood High School, with further education at Prince George’s Community College, Largo, MD.

On July 7, 1971 he had his first date with the young lady who would become his wife, inseparable companion, and soul mate of 48 years. On September 10, 1972, Marty was married to Miss Sarah F. Crandell of Shady Side at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Both were natives of Maryland, loved the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries and spent as much time as possible in and around the Bay. They both loved sailing, long beach walks, and fossil hunting in Calvert County, MD. They were volunteers at the new Chesapeake Bay Museum, St. Michael’s, MD. Travel became important and the couple enjoyed many cruises throughout the Caribbean, 2 weeks cruising and touring Alaska’s Inside Passage, and many extended driving vacations throughout the entire Eastern Seaboard from Canada to Key West. Camping throughout New England brought with it visits to many lighthouses. Wine country in New York brought with it not only beautiful scenery, but wine-tasting delights and lots of smiles!

Surviving is his wife, Sarah Crandell Thomas of Hudson, IN. They had no children.

Marty served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1971. On July 29, 1967 while deployed to the Tonkin Gulf, Viet Nam aboard the USS Forrestal (CV-59), he survived what was “one of the largest Naval disasters in U.S. History”. A WWII era bomb, which should not have in ordinance inventory ‘cooked off’ prematurely beginning the fire that rapidly spread to the state of the art jets loaded with jet fuel and bombs for the second strike of the morning. The horrific fire killed 134 of his shipmates, injured another 161, and scared the lives of many more crew who carry that pain today. Marty was assigned to a catapult crew, aft cats, making him eye level with the flight deck when the fire began. was busy with the impending launches, and the returning jet fleet from strike #1, making him eye level with the flight deck when the fire began. He directed men to safety, assisted the wounded, carried charred bodies and fought on the hose line for some 48 hours. He was a life member of the USS Forrestal Association.

Immediately upon his return from active duty, he was a became a charter member and volunteer of the fledgling Kentland VFD Station 46, substation of Kentland 33 VFD, Prince Georges County, MD which is consistently one of the top 10 most active stations in the nation. Marty was an active volunteer and served for approx. 22 years before they moved to Indiana. He was compelled to do anything possible to prevent anyone from experiencing what he had lived through aboard ship. It was this compassion that drove him to take all courses in Fire Science Technology at the local community college and extensive additional training at the University of Maryland Fire Science Technology Academy, College Park, MD. He served as Lieutenant for several terms. He was well respected by his brothers and known for a level head under pressure. Regardless of how many hours out or how exhausted all were, he would not stop until hoses were washed and the engine spotless. He is a life member of Kentland Volunteer Fire Dept., served 46 as Lieutenant for several terms, and a life member of Kendallville VFW Post 2749.

Marty attends Calvary Chapel Fellowship of Stroh and is involved with the weekly Men’s Breakfast and Men’s Bible. He also attends Hudson Brethren Church in Hudson. Both churches consider him to be part of the church family and have, and will continue to care for needs of his wife during this time of transition.

Funeral services have been postponed at this time due to health reasons.

Private burial has taken place at Marion National Cemetery in Marion.

All flowers or condolences may be sent to his wife, Sarah Thomas.

Preferred memorials are to the Hudson United Brethren Church, 516 North Main Street, Hudson, Indiana, 46737, Calvary Chapel Fellowship, 4340 S 1170 E, Stroh, Indiana, 46789, or the Salem Center Volunteer Fire Department, 8404 W 500 S. Hudson, Indiana, 46747.

Young Family Funeral Home, Hudson-Ashley Chapel, 612 North Main Street, Hudson is assisting the family with arrangements.

View a video tribute after Friday or share memories and condolences at

Guest Book

Greg Neuhaus
September 14th, 2020 12:33pm

I will miss our time together making breakfast before the others were out of bed. You taught me how to be a faithful man of God.

Linda Molargik
September 7th, 2020 9:33pm

So very sorry to hear of Marty,s passing prayers to you!! God bless you Sarah

Jeff Owen
September 4th, 2020 3:21pm

Dearest cousin- Words cannot express how saddened I am for you. Know that we all love and cherish such great memories with you and Marty. Jeff

Norene Keller
September 4th, 2020 11:07am

Dear Sarah and Family, So sorry to hear about Marty. He will be missed at the Tritch gatherings. Take care!!!! Hugs! David and Norene Keller

Shane Hartman
September 2nd, 2020 1:00pm
Nashville, IN

Praying for all of you during this time.

Karen Hand
September 2nd, 2020 3:03am
North Webster, Indiana

A wonderful man who will be missed!

Mary Ann Nelson
September 2nd, 2020 1:39am

Sarah, My heart goes out to you! So sorry for your loss. You are in my heart and my prayers.

September 2nd, 2020 1:01am
San Antonio,Texas

God speed my dear friend. Until we join you , we will love and uphold Sarah......your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Becky Daniels
September 2nd, 2020 12:11am
Kendallville, IN

Very sorry for your loss Sarah. Prayers for peace and comfort.