News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Gilbert Linden Martin

Gilbert Linden Martin, 70, passed away on Wednesday, October 9.

Gil was born in La Mesa, California, and raised on the Martin family orchard in the apple-growing town of Cowiche, WA. He was the second of eight siblings. Gil’s passion for writing and literature led him to continue his education at the University of Washington where he graduated with a degree in English.

Gil spent his in-between years globetrotting and called a few places home at one point or another. After graduating college in 1972, he spent almost a year harvesting grapes in France and traveling across Europe. Upon returning to the U.S., he wandered the states until finally planting roots in the Pacific Northwest. He pursued various career paths, including a position with the U.S. Forest Service and owning a used bookshop in Bingen, Washington. One of his more permanent residences was Trout Lake, Washington, where he was most well-known for running the Trout Lake Tavern, later known as the Trout Lake Country


It was at the Inn that Gil’s talent and knack for entertaining really hit stride. He wrote, produced, directed, and co-starred in more than a dozen plays over the years, all of which were proudly showcased on the stage of the Inn. Locals and spectators from all over the state and beyond would come to share laughter and a meal as they watched his stories unfold before their eyes. Several of his plays, including the adored fan favorites “The Last Rehearsal” and “Murder at Henry Cabot’s Lodge” were later published and performed at a theater in New York.

Gil married and became a proud father in 1988. By this time, he and his late wife, Milly, were running the Inn full time as a quaint bed and breakfast and restaurant, also offering books for sale, videos for rent, and hit plays during the summer.

Gil, Milly, and their daughter, Tiffany, left Trout Lake and moved to Sisters in 2001, where Gil pursued a career in real estate and wildland firefighting with GFP Enterprises. He spent much of his time writing — his first and true passion. During this time he took off his traditional “playwright” hat and wrote brilliant and often hilarious novels, one of which is a roaring comedy written from the perspective of his then-teenage daughter.

In the final years of his life, Gil parted ways from the Pacific Northwest one last time in search of warmer pastures, and settled in Scottsdale, AZ. He continued his love for travel, driving and camping along the California coast. He recently became a grandfather and moved closer to his daughter, son-in-law, and grandson in Bend in the fall of 2018.

Gil is survived by his mother, Cecilia Martin; daughter, Tiffany (Kiefer) Aguilar; grandson, Kayden; siblings, Marilyn/Marty (Mike) Sliman, Steve (Michele) Martin, Elaine (Mark) Stevenson, Tom (Pat) Martin, John (Julie) Martin, and Jim (Lori) Martin; step-daughter, Shannon (Donald) Pollard; and step-grandchildren Ryan, Brandon, Jordan and Madison.

He is preceded in death by his father, Linden Martin; and sister, Cathy Martin.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Gil at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 25, at the Trout Lake Country Inn (15 Guler Rd, Trout Lake, WA 98650). Any and all friends of Gil are welcome and encouraged to attend. Additionally, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 26 at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Yakima, WA.


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