Vincent "Vinny" Edward Martin, age 46, of Caledonia, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, December 6, 2022. Vinny was born January 15, 1976, in Findlay, Ohio, to his late parents, Danny and Linda (Benson) Martin. He was a 1995 graduate of River Valley and a Freemason member of Hiram Lodge #18. Vinny was always a hard worker, whether it was as a kitchen helper at school, mowing neighbors' lawns, or being mentored by Arden Kline at Klines Butcher Shop in Caledonia. He loved getting into things and learning anything new. With his dad's "insistence," Vinny even tinkered on a few vehicles after driving them a little too enthusiastically during his joy rides with Doug Edler, Troy Kline, Jason Vaughn, and anyone else they picked up along the way! After high school, Vinny took the skills from Arden and became a butcher at the Mt. Gilead Kroger while simultaneously working at McDonald's. Both jobs left him with great memories before beginning his career at Whirlpool Marion. He worked at Whirlpool for 24 years, starting at the bottom and working his way up to supervisor. Over the years, he worked every shift in almost every department, and as he did everywhere, he made many great "buddies," as he called them. He couldn't leave his house without someone yelling "Vinny!" across a crowded store, parking lot, etc. Even on his last vacation clear in Myrtle Beach! He never met a stranger, and anyone who met him loved him. He was an outdoorsman, going on several hunting, fishing, and camping trips with buddies. He loved to travel and was able to experience a beautiful cruise to the Caribbean with some of his closest family and friends, as well as memorable camping trips to Michigan. Vinny met his fiance, Jessica Walker, whom he called "his person," by selling her a used printer on Facebook Marketplace. After many attempts for a date, those twinkling eyes and ornery smile worked, and they were forever dubbed "printer girl" and "printer guy" by their closest family and friends. They often joked that their love was so strong that it threw the world off its axis when they went on their first date because the following morning Ohio was put on COVID lockdown and the world seemed to stop. However, it never stopped them. They had had their second date the very next day. They were madly in love and inseparable from the beginning. He was an outstanding cook and loved making her his mushroom risotto for date nights, or showing her up on any cooking competitions they had with the boys! Vinny had no biological children but always considered Jessica's boys, Gavin and Owen, his own. He always said he didn't have his own children because he believed Gavin and Owen were meant to be his. The boys even mixed Martin + Walker and renamed the family unit "The Markers." He took his role as a dad figure very seriously and never missed a game, a practice, or a school event. He even homeschooled them during COVID and worked tirelessly to teach Owen how to tie his shoes. Vinny coached Gavin's football team for the last two years, bringing home an undefeated season and championship win this year! He considered his fellow coaches his friends, and truly cared for every kid on the team. Vinny was an avid Michigan Wolverines, Chicago Bears, and Chicago Cubs fan. He loved sporting his gear and trash talking any chance he got. But the power of love got him to sport Jess's favorite Cleveland teams' gear on a few occasions. Vinny had a passion for all types of music, especially his favorite blues artist, Buddy Guy, whom they were lucky enough to see in concert last year. He even took Jess to a Slipknot concert for their anniversary and made the best memories! Vinny truly was always up for anything! He and Jess called it an adventure when they left the house because a normal day could turn into any adventure with Vinny! He would help anyone at the drop of a hat and had the perfect balance of kind-hearted gentleman and ornery instigator. He proudly passed that on to Gavin and Owen (who called themselves Mini Vinny's), but he also took great pleasure in "corrupting" his nieces Kimber and Adalyn and teaching them "fun" things to show their parents! Vinny is survived by the love of his life, Jessica Walker, two boys, Gavin and Owen Walker, his best furry friend and twin "Yogi," sisters Stephanie (Tim) McMillion, Misty Martin (Randy Hogel), and Christine Martin. Nieces Kimber, Adalyn, Ava, and Harlow; and nephew Hudson; as well as many special cousins, aunts, and uncles. He was preceded in death by a sister, Tammy Martin, and parents Danny and Linda Martin.
Vinny had an amazing sense of humor and was the life of the party, so we will be having a Celebration of Life on his birthday, January 15, 2023. Time and location to be determined.
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