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Diane Martin, wife of C.F. Martin & Co Executive Chairman Chris Martin IV, has died

Diane Martin and Martin Guitars
(Image credit: Martin Guitars/Future)

It’s been announced that Diane Martin, wife of C.F. Martin & Co executive chairman and former CEO Chris Martin IV, has passed away.

The news was announced by Martin Guitars in a statement, which reported Martin passed away on January 4 following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Martin, who had been fighting her condition for many years, also operated as vice-chair of the brand's board of directors, and engaged in a number of philanthropic endeavors alongside her work as a business leader.

Of her passing, current Martin Guitars president and CEO Thomas Ripsam said, “This is truly a great loss to the Martin family, the local community, and anyone who was lucky enough to know Diane.

“At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with Chris and their daughter Claire.”

“A philanthropist, a business leader, a loving wife, and a mother, Diane Martin was loved and respected by many,” the statement continued. “She led by example through her hands-on commitment to bettering our local community.”

Diane, who was a district judge from Lower Saucon Township and Hellertown before joining Martin, married Chris Martin IV on May 19, 1990, after he appeared in her courtroom for a traffic violation.

Martin later played a crucial role in the brand’s success over the last three decades, and was key in improving Martin Guitars’ diversity and sustainability.

Alongside her commitments to the famed acoustic guitar company, Martin was also the chair of the Northampton Community College Foundation’s board, as well as the chair of the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation – an offshoot that supports a number of educational and environmental action groups.

Martin’s statement went on to pay tribute to Diane’s quick wit, sense of humor and compassion, and said those wishing to pay their respects may do so by donating to the Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation to honor her legacy.

Matt Owen

Matt is a News Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.