Hubert Martin, a former Strasburg mayor known for his forward thinking, died on Dec. 30. He was 92.
After moving to Strasburg for a job at Chemstone, which is now Carmeuse, Martin began serving his community. He was a member of Strasburg’s Planning Commission before becoming interim town manager and then becoming mayor.
Martin served as mayor for a two-year period between 1985 and 1986 before losing in a re-election bid to James Racey, who won as a write-in.
Former colleagues described Martin as a forward thinker who cared about his community.
Mount Jackson Town Manager Kevin Fauber, who was town manager in Strasburg when Martin was mayor, said that Martin worked to add a full interchange between Route 55 and Interstate 81.
“He really pushed for that full interchange development, which the town eventually got the full interchange,” Fauber said.
Martin’s wife Claudia called the addition of the interchange her husband’s “biggest accomplishment, to get two exits.”
Henry Himelright Jr., who was a member of the Town Council when Martin was mayor, said Martin saw the town growing along U.S. 11 and U.S. 55.
“He saw the growth going out that way, out (U.S.) 11 and out (U.S.) 55,” Himelright said. “...I think that’s why Route 11 out where the McDonald’s and all that has grown up, I think that was a lot to do with him.”
Martin wanted to grow industry and tourism in the town, Strasburg Mayor Rich Orndorff Jr., said.
Orndorff said Martin believed that Strasburg could capitalize on its location to bring in businesses and tourists, and credited Martin with moving the town toward its current work in bringing tourism to town and in developing the town’s business park.
“Our big focus on the business park, those were things that were very important to him,” Orndorff said.
Outside of his passion for the community, Martin was active and enjoyed spending time outdoors. Shenandoah County Administrator Mary Beth Price, who was Strasburg’s interim town manager during Martin’s time with the town, recalled that Martin would sometimes ski after work.
“He would come to the office in his ski bibs and prop his skis up in the corner of the office — then he would go skiing,” Price stated in an email.
He regularly hiked Signal Knob with his wife for some time. The two hiked Signal Knob “several hundred times a year,” Claudia Martin said.
“(He) put a plaque on top of Signal Knob from the Strasburg side, and it says: ‘Mountain serenity. Hubert and Claudia shared it many times,’” she said.