In early September, the Martin family of Andale, needed to cut corn. One 40-acre field was finished but there remained a 110-acre and an 80-acre place yet to go. This is a normal situation for many farmers during harvest. Only this season there was someone missing from the scene.
Jon Martin, 50, died August 23 of a brain tumor. When he was diagnosed just after wheat harvest in July, his family knew his time on Earth was short. The night Jon died his brother and farm partner, Pete; son, Jake and ten of their friends helped the Martins bale four alfalfa-fields in four hours. On Sept. 9 and 10, more than a dozen people brought four combines, five grain carts and seven semi-trucks to help the Martins complete corn harvest. Though the atmosphere was hurried and subdued, once the last cart of corn was loaded into the row of parked semi-trucks, the family and friends took time in the field to shake hands, tell jokes and mingle – just as Jon would have wanted.
The following photos depict that hot summer day, a day like any other harvest routine, except there was one person missing.
Jon was married to Gwen for 31 years and together they had six children: Valerie, Audrey, Jake, Jessica, Samantha, Alison and Victoria. He also had nine grandchildren.