Cover photo for Elliott (Cowboy) Martin's Obituary
Elliott (Cowboy) Martin Profile Photo

Elliott (Cowboy) Martin

December 6, 1934 — April 26, 2021

Elliott (Cowboy) Martin

Elliott (Cowboy) Martin, age 86, of Gatesville, passed away on the evening of April 26, 2021, in Temple, Texas. Graveside services will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, May 8, 2021, at Slater Cemetery. Clifton Elliott Martin was born on December 6, 1934, in Pearl to the late Eugene Cullen Martin & Mary K. Carpenter Martin. He grew up and attended school in Pearl and Slater. After High School, at the age of 17, he joined the Air Force and served as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer on the B-36 PEACEMAKER bomber. He served six years, and upon being discharged, began a flying career that spanned almost 65 years. Cowboy married the love of his life, Mary Louise Allen, at the age of 19 and remained married to her for 49 years. During their marriage, he and Louise lived in many different states, as well as in Puerto Rico, while he chased various flying jobs to support his family. He even spent time in Santo Domingo, under the employ of Colonel Oliver North, He flew numerous types of aircraft throughout his career, for many different companies and airlines. Most notable of these were SMB Stage Lines out of Dallas, ABC Airlines out of Ft. Worth, and National Jet/Air Indiana out of Indianapolis. In fact, he eventually owned and operated Air Indiana for seven years. Cowboy eventually returned to his beloved Texas, where he applied his trade actively as a flight instructor and aircraft mechanic well into his mid-80s. He remained active as a certified flight instructor through March 2018, and as a certified aircraft and power plant mechanic with inspection authorization through March 2021. At Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, Cowboy met Brigadier General James U. Cross, Pilot of Air Force One for President Lyndon B. Johnson. They quickly became friends, and he became Cross’ mechanic and often his co-pilot. Cross retired to a nursing home in Gatesville, where Cowboy visited him often, until his death in 2015. Cowboy remained in Gatesville, until his health dictated his move to the Veteran’s home in Temple, Texas, where he resided until his death. Throughout his life, Cowboy provided hundreds of young wanna be aviators, that no one else was willing to help, the opportunity to succeed in the industry. Many, many times he did so at his own expense, without expectation of payment. He simply loved aviation and the young people who came behind him. Cowboy was famous throughout the United States. Almost every aviator, young and old, in the fifty states knew of, or had heard of, the infamous Cowboy Martin. His reputation and his abilities, as a pilot and mechanic preceded him, wherever he went. His nick name “Cowboy” was derived from his late-night cargo flights, as he would play the guitar, and sing and yodel over the radio. When he would check in with air traffic control, the controllers would all say, “welcome back Cowboy” or “Hey Cowboy is that you?” Cowboy was predeceased by his beloved wife, Louise Martin; parents; son, C.D. Allen III; daughter, Donna Sue Hotho; and two brothers Eugene W. Martin and William H. Martin. He is survived by his grandchildren: Cassandra Carlton (Michael), Barbie Williams (Randy), Patrick Allen, and Victor Hotho, two sisters, Belva Martin and Dorothy Dotson and numerous great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and a multitude of friends, that were all very important in his life. Two of his dearest friends were Mike Chase and Ken Mallach, who were the Best friends a man could ever have. The family is eternally grateful for their friendship and wishes to express their heartfelt appreciation to these two for all they did for Cowboy.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elliott (Cowboy) Martin, please visit our flower store.

Visits: 1

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree