SUPERIOR, WI – A Twin Ports broadcasting pioneer died Sunday at the age of 102.
Lew Martin’s golden voice graced the Twin Ports airwaves starting in 1936, before making the transition to television news at WDSM, now KBJR-TV.
His long broadcasting career included interviews with presidents Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy
Wisconsin Public Radio’s Danielle Kaeding met Martin when he teamed up with Jack Mckenna for “Radio Superior” at KUWS.
“Who else can say they were there when radio started in the Twin Ports,” Kaeding said.
Kaeding, who is a reporter for WPR, said she’ll miss Martin’s humor the most.
“He was a character,” she said with a smile. “I’ll miss hearing his laughs here at the station.”
Laughter aside, Kaeding said Martin will be remembered for his commitment to serve.
“He really believed in looking out for people, whether being a voice for them, bringing them the news or representing them down in Madison.”
After retiring from broadcasting in 1985, Martin turned to public office.
He was elected to the Douglas County Board of Supervisors where he would serve with now Superior Mayor Jim Paine.
“He was always looking for news way to serve his community. He had a refined understanding of what community meant,” Paine said.
Paine said the two shared a special bond.
Martin was a mentor and was one of his earliest supporters for the mayor.
“The thing I took from Lew Martin was his ability to build and maintain relationships with people over the course of years,” Paine said.
Many of those years were spent teaching a new generation of politicians and broadcasters.
“He admired service above self,” Kaeding said.
According to his obituary, a private funeral service will be held.