Arthur “Ralph” Martinson, 88, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family on December 17, 2018. He was born in North Vancouver, B.C. to Arthur H. Martinson and Elisabeth E. Beetham. He graduated from North Vancouver High School and the University of British Columbia, where he starred in football, soccer and rugby. As he finished his Master’s degree in Physical Education at the University of Washington, he accepted a position at Punahou School to teach P.E. and coach over an opportunity to play professional Canadian football, a decision he never regretted.
Moving to Hawaii in 1955 to begin his forty-year career at Punahou, Martinson met Marilyn Hamley. They enjoyed 28 years of marriage and raised four children in the warm environment of the campus neighborhood. He taught his kids to bodysurf at Kailua Beach, fly a kite, and throw a football with a proper spiral, not to mention innumerable lessons about living with character and integrity. His commitment to Punahou was only surpassed by his commitment to being a loving, supportive father.
As Athletic Director from 1960-1990, Martinson was a prime mover in expanding interscholastic women’s sports both at Punahou and across the state. He co-founded the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association so that A.D.s could collaborate in improving opportunities for high school athletes. He was also instrumental in the planning of Punahou’s state-of-the-art athletic facilities. Martinson held several leadership roles at the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, state and national levels. Among his many accolades, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association in 1990 and was inducted into the Punahou Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
Martinson worked hard and played hard. He loved spending time with his buddies on the golf course, racquetball court, and as a founding member of the Hawaii Harlequins rugby team. He also enjoyed traveling, Big Band swing dancing, listening to jazz, playing cribbage with his kids, and he looked forward to each new season with his fantasy baseball friends.
Martinson was a man of exceptional integrity, a visionary leader, and a devoted father, uncle and grandfather. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Verna Benjamin. He will be tenderly remembered by sister Muriel Tassie; loving companion Lynn Kugle; children Jill, Matt (and Suzie), Marty (and Sharon), and Gail; grandchildren Kaheke, Ke’ala, Lauren and Jeremy; nieces Marian, Nancy, and Meg, nephew David, and their children.
Services will be held at the Punahou Chapel on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 2:30pm. Receiving at 1:30pm.
Notice #: 0001162205-01