Martin Hall

Martin Hall

On January 23, 2017 Martin (Marty) Hall passed away peacefully in Nelson, British Columbia after 78 inspirational years that brought joy and comfort to all those who were part of his life. An amazing father, husband, brother, son and friend, Marty’s warmth and work ethic ensured he left this earth with no enemies or anyone disliking him.

He entered the world on July 31, 1938 as the firstborn son of Pauline and Michael Holowachuk on the kitchen table of his grandmother’s farmhouse near Lady Lake, Saskatchewan. Through his childhood, his Ukrainian parents farmed and owned a number of small businesses, teaching Marty the meaning of hard work from an early age. He went to high school at Yorkton Collegiate Institute and was in the Air Cadets. After high school, Marty started working at Woolworths as a stockboy, but his friendly nature and organizational skills were quickly recognized and he was elevated to assistant manager where he learned humble lessons that would stick as he moved towards a successful career in business.

When he was 22, Marty—who with the blessing of his parents changed his last name to Hall—moved to Calgary to be with his future wife Lois Rothery. He caught on with Clean City Cleaners where he hit the pavement to quickly build a successful client base in Calgary’s southwest. With a steady paycheque, he married the love his life on April 8, 1961 and their first son Michael was born on December 12, 1961. When he was 25, one of his dry cleaning customers recognized Marty’s sales abilities and urged him to enter the insurance game. In December, 1963 he wrote his exam and started working for Travelers Insurance. Two years later he joined forces with Doug Harding and they started to build one of the most successful independent insurance agencies in Calgary—Harding & Hall Insurance Ltd. Lois and Marty’s second son Robert was born on November 18, 1967. The steady growth of Harding & Hall Insurance allowed the partners to branch out into several other business opportunities including the Lakeside Inn pub in Invermere, B.C. and Rustic Market Square in Cochrane, Alberta.

Along with his successful business dealings, Marty always ensured he was helping build the community he lived in. He was a key part of the Stampede City Kinsmen Club between 1964 and 1988 where he spent time as the club’s president and was integral in fundraisers like the Kinsmen Skate-A-Thon. He was also involved in the South Calgary Community Association and sat on the board of the Calgary Zoo in the late-1970s and early-1980s.

Throughout his life, Marty found great pleasure in travel and recreation. With family and friends, he explored destinations all over the United States and one epic trip down the Baja in a motorhome. His fondness for the Columbia Valley resulted in purchasing a rustic cabin in Windermere where family and friends created many memories. A keen fisherman and hunter, trips with his pals were more about bonding than what they returned home with.

In 1986, Marty and Lois moved further west to Victoria where they bought a heritage home two blocks away from the Legislature building, purchased Rowbottom Insurance and renamed it Harding & Hall Insurance. Though both business and personal life was a success on Vancouver Island, the couple moved back to Calgary in 1993 where Marty became a partner in Cashman Insurance. Marty finally retired at the age of 63 and shortly thereafter moved back to the Island, this time Ladysmith where both Marty and Lois became involved in the community, volunteering for their church and the local food bank. With declining health and a desire to be near their grandchildren, the couple moved to Nelson, British Columbia in 2011.

Through all of his success in business and in the community, Marty prided himself most on being a great father, husband, son, brother and friend. He was massively successful in this capacity. His generous nature, ability to make people laugh and unique wisdom touched the lives of so many. He will be deeply missed by all of them.

Married for 54 years, Marty lost his wife Lois almost a year to the date of his own passing (January 18, 2016) and he now joins her once again. He is survived by sons Michael (Kathy) in Okotoks and Robert (Janice) in Nelson, grandchildren Brianna, Liam, Olivia, Kyle and Ashley. He will be forever remembered by his sister Geraldine Dickson, brother Jerry (Myrna) and his amazing mother Pauline (who is 95). Marty was pre-deceased by his father Mike.

A memorial and celebration of life will be held on Saturday, March 25 (2017) at Canadian Martyrs Church in Calgary (835 Northmount Drive, NW) at 11 a.m. with Father Vincent presiding.

In the last five years, Marty lived at Mountain Lakes Seniors Community in Nelson where he received kind and loving care from all of the staff (who we could never thank enough) while he battled dementia. If you would like to make a memorial donation, the family has established a Selkirk College bursary that will provide financial assistance to students in the Health Care Assistant Program and related fields. You can make a donation to the “Lois & Marty Hall Memorial Bursary” at Selkirk College (301 Frank Beinder Way, Castlegar, BC, V1N 4L3 attn: Joleen Kinakin).

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