Martin ‘Marty’ Fiala |

Martin ‘Marty’ Fiala

Martin “Marty” Fiala passed away quietly on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, in Delta County Memorial Hospital, of advanced congestive heart failure, with his beloved wife Joan at his side. He was 78 years old.

Martin was born in Duluth, Minn. on May 17, 1932, the eldest of three sons of Dr. Martin Josef Fiala and Grace Fairchild Fiala. Upon the premature death of his father, Martin moved with his family to Ithaca, N.Y. During the Korean War, he volunteered for the draft and served in Army Intelligence until his discharge. He attended Brandeis University on the GI Bill and graduated suma cum laude with distinction in economics. He obtained his master of business administration at Harvard Business School and immediately joined Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon-Mobil). He worked with them in various financial capacities, primarily overseas, until his early retirement in 1987.

While on an early foreign assignment to Toronto, Canada he met and fell in love with Margaret Joan Lancaster, the daughter of Arthur Wavell and Victoria May Lancaster. After the proverbial whirlwind courtship, they were wed on Oct. 5, 1962. They immediately embarked on a life of travel and adventure; Martin’s work assignments allowing them to live in 13 different countries over a period of more than 17 years. They finally returned to the States where he finished his Exxon career in Houston, Texas.

Martin had an enormous love for Colorado. He was an expert skier and by preference he and Joan spent most of their vacations in Aspen, eventually purchasing a ski condo in Snowmass, to which they initially retired. He was happiest when he was hiking the backcountry with one of his adored dogs. For a number of years, he worked in Aspen and later Redstone as a CPA until their final move to Cedaredge.

The sea was always a passion for him. He was an avid racing sailor and a naval history buff. In his later years he became an expert model ship builder of primarily early U.S. naval vessels.

He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Joan; his beloved daughter Karen (Ed) Wotanis; granddaughters Caitlin Wotanis and Chrissie (Greg) Pearce; his great- grandson Cameron; his brothers Dennison and John (Joan) Fiala and Martin’s favorite and only niece, Ellen; his nephews Paul, Joe and James Fiala, their wives and numerous children; his sister-in-law Lillian (Mervin) Cairns, and several cousins in the family’s native Denmark.

He was cremated, and burial will follow at the family plot in Buffalo, N.Y. A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, June 14, 2011, at 2 p.m. at Cedaredge United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions would be appreciated by FCAC (Friends of Cedaredge Animal Control), a “no-kill” shelter to which both Martin and Joan have been devoted volunteers), P.O. Box 853, Cedaredge, CO 81413.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.

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