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Inspiring Adventure: Introducing the Daniel E. Martin Fund

Updated: Jan 23, 2023

During his life, there wasn’t much that Dan Martin did not embrace with a healthy dose of enthusiasm and full sense of adventure. Dan was a hunter, skydiver, rock climber, horseback rider, deep sea diver, sailor, and so much more. When he passed away in May 2021 following surgery for a double lung transplant, Dan’s family wanted to celebrate his life in a way that would reflect his lifelong love of adventure. That’s why the Martin family worked with the Sturgis Area Community Foundation to establish a permanent field of interest fund in Dan’s name. The Daniel E. Martin Fund will exist to support charitable programs and initiatives that help residents fuel their own sense of adventure in the areas of recreation and entrepreneurship.

About Daniel E. Martin

Following graduation from Sturgis High School in 1967, Dan graduated from the Coastal School of Deep Sea Diving in Oakland, CA. For eight years in the 70's, he worked in the commercial diving industry around the United States and in the North Sea. A NAUI Scuba Diving Instructor for more than 50 years, upon his return to Sturgis he owned and operated Martin Products Company in Sturgis. Dan also owned the Sturgis Hot and Now for many years.

A voracious reader and lifelong adventurer, Dan loved adventure sports and even climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2001. He sailed his boat, named the Craiglush, all over Lake Michigan.

In later years, he began hunting elk, deer, and birds with his Brittany Spaniel, Angus. Dan loved his "Up North" condo and skiing at Nubs Nob with the family. He friended people everywhere he went with his quiet kindness, wise counsel, and endless experiences.

“He was extremely adventurous, but most importantly he was a family man,” shares his daughter Kirstin. “To sum him up, is to tell you that, he made sure that his kids and grandkids knew that life was an adventure, and he gave us all the opportunities to find that adventure in whatever form suited us best.”

A Meaningful Legacy

The Daniel E. Martin Fund will now continue Dan’s love of adventure by providing annual support for programs and projects in the areas of recreation and entrepreneurship – both of which were passions for Dan who loved to encourage others to “face their fears”. The Martin Family hopes that through the work of Dan’s fund more people might be encouraged to do just that—face fears, experience adventure, and live life to the fullest—just like Dan did.

Through philanthropic services, strategic investments and community leadership, Sturgis Area Community Foundation Foundation helps people support the causes they care about, now and for generations to come. For more information on grants or donor services, email

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