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Bill Martin Municipal Airport Sign Dedication


The family of Ava native and former U. S. Navy Vice Admiral William I. Martin visited in Ava Saturday for the unveiling of the new sign recently installed at the entrance to the Bill Martin Municipal Airport, west of Ava.  Several family members traveled from California for the special event, while others attending were from Branson and Ava.  From left to right, they are Daniel Wolf, Mariesa Martin Wolf, Bill Clarke, Annee and David Martin, Erin and Frank Ellis, Jonathan Martin, Mona Decker, and Nancy Walker.  David Martin is the Vice Admiral’s son, and Mariesa and Jonathan are grandchildren.

(Ava, MO) – The Ava Bill Martin Memorial Airport sign dedication ceremony was held on Saturday, Oct. 20, with many family members of the former U.S. Navy Vice Admiral in attendance for the special event.  The airport is named in honor of Vice Admiral William I. Martin,  who grew up in Ava, and graduated from Ava High School in 1927.   

The newly finished airport sign is the creation and design of David Martin of California, Bill Martin’s son, who is an architect.  

The sign displays a facade of yellow brick which is designed to house a stainless steel plate suspended over a background of blue tile.  The airport name and insignias are cut into the stainless steel, and the blue tile serves as the background highlighting the airport name and design.  

Helping facilitate the new sign, councilman Burrely Loftin worked closely with David Martin to construct the new entrance marker by overseeing the project, and coordinating the work schedule.  The project has been in process for quite some time. 

Dignitaries attending the recognition ceremony included Senator Mike Cunningham, Representative Lyle Rowland, Representative-elect Carla Eslinger, and city councilmen Burrely Loftin, Keith Jones and Stan Lovan.  Mayor David Norman served as emcee.   

At the onset of the ceremony, former City Clerk Marilyn Alms gave a thorough but brief history detailing the military career and accomplishments of former Vice Admiral Martin.  Marilyn also presented the family with a scrapbook showcasing local newspaper articles, letters, and photographs of the airport dedication in 1970, and later in 1979, when the facility was named in honor of Martin’s memory.  

 During the ceremony, Senator Mike Cunningham honored the Bill Martin family by presenting them with a Senate Proclamation acknowledging his many accomplishments.  Mayor David Norman presented a special proclamation from the City of Ava.  

Approximately 50 people were in attendance for the special occasion. 

Senator Mike Cunningham, left, presented David Martin and his family with a Senate Proclamation recognizing former Vice Admiral William Martin for his military accomplishments and career. The proclamation was presented during the municipal sign dedication ceremony held Saturday, Oct. 20 at the airport.