Robert W. Martin


Robert William Martin died May 27 at his home in Palos Verdes Estates. He was 95.

Martin was born Feb. 28, 1916 in West Hollywood to Claude and Sadie Martin. He grew up in Venice Beach and went to Venice High School. Martin attended UCLA for two years before transferring to UC Berkeley, where he met his wife Martha Ayer. After graduating, the pair moved to Venice Beach, where they met lifelong friends Ed and Dorothy Perry.

Martin later moved to Pacific Palisades before settling in Malibu, where he and his wife lived for 40 years. They have lived in Lunada Bay, Palos Verdes Estates for the past 10 years.

In Malibu, the Martins were active members of the Grasshoppers group.

Martin was a mechanical engineer specializing in aircraft wing structures. He worked at aircraft company Douglas, followed by MacDonnell Douglas. Martin also worked at North American Aviation supervising the structural design of the second state of the Saturn rocket. He contributed to numerous commercial airplane designs while at Douglas, including the structure of the DC8 wing.

As a teenager in Venice interested in aviation, Martin and his friends built one-man gliders that they flew near Calle Miramar in the Hollywood Riviera. He flew to the same street as a teen where his son, Bob, and family now live.

Martin is survived by his wife Martha, his sons Bob and Steve, his grandchildren Scott, Trista, Dan, Dennis and Jim, and his great granddaughter Isabella.

Services took place June 4 at Green Hills Memorial Chapel in Rancho Palas Verdes. To sign Martin’s guest book, visit