Martin Thomas Rouse


Martin Thomas Rouse, a resident of Point Dume and Corral Canyon for 35 years, died on Oct. 8. He was 84.

Rouse was born in Philadelphia on June 4, 1924 to Martin Adolph Rouse and Lily Beatrice Johnson. He had one sister, Dorothy Cross, and they spent their childhood years in Hammonton, N.J. and Worcester, Mass. During Rouse’s early childhood, he became involved in the boys choir at All Saints Church, where his choirmaster, Bill Self, became one of his early life mentors. It was in Worcester as a youth where Rouse discovered the wonders of endless days playing pick up baseball at Beaver Brook Park. He developed the infield skills that took him to four years of varsity baseball at Trinity College and an offer for a contract with the Detroit Tigers.

In 1943, Rouse was drafted for Army duty. He served as an infantry platoon leader in the 90th Infantry Division out of Fort Ord, Calif. Their assignment was the initial invasion of Japan. In the summer of 1945, on their 32nd day at sea, the report came in that Japan had surrendered. Rouse completed the rest of his duty in the Philippines and at various times was able to play baseball with Hall of Famer Joe Garagiola and President George H.W. Bush.

Rouse met Sabrina “Bina” Mason in a New York City elevator, and they married on Oct. 10, 1953 in Westwood. The couple raised four sons. The family can recall the early days of Malibu that included “hundred acres,” the “key beach,” the Christmas float, summer playground at Point Dume Elementary School, St. Aidan’s Church and a makeshift watermelon stand at Westward Beach.

Rouse began his employment in the insurance industry by forming the Rouse Insurance Agency. He later joined Blue Cross of Southern California, where he enjoyed a distinguished career in sales and marketing.

Rouse and his wife spent the last 11 years in retirement in Westlake Village. In the later years, Rouse stayed active in Westminster Presbyterian Church, the brotherhood of the Optimist Club, as well as Bible study and tennis groups. Rouse had many lifelong friendships and cherished them deeply.

In addition to his wife, Rouse is survived by his sons, Marty and his wife Jane, Jim and his wife Carolyn, Bill and his wife Jenny and John and his wife Kelly and 11 grandchildren.

A memorial service will take place on Monday at 2 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, located at 32111 Watergate Road in Westlake Village.