Martin O. Lein, 82, of Idyllwild died Thursday, June 5, 2003, after a short but steep decline in his health.

Mr. Lein was born July 15, 1920, in Chicago, Ill.

Growing up, he was a strong swimmer and developed his abilities to fix almost anything, teach creatively, and work effectively with young people as a church-school teacher, youth evangelist and Boys Brigade leader.

He left high school at about age 15 to help in his dad and uncle’s feed mill, and also worked for a furrier and for Universal X-Rays.

His family moved to Villa Park, a Chicago suburb, where he met Mabel Obenland, a high school senior and church pianist.

Mr. Lein served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He and Mabel married in l943 and moved to California in l947.

He became manager of Tahquitz Pines Christian Endeavor Camp in Idyllwild in March 1948.

His family wrote, “In this capacity, he lived out his Christian faith and served his Lord using his hands in grounds maintenance work, and his heart and mind as he managed the staff and ministered to the camp’s young people.”

He joined the Idyllwild Fire Department as a volunteer in the fall of 1949, and served 35 years on the department plus six years on the Board of Commissioners.

He also studied refrigeration repair and built a small business in that area.

He enjoyed reading and studying, hiking, swimming and providing water safety instruction, canoeing, participating in first aid and mountain rescue work, teaching adult church school at the Idyllwild Community Church, and serving on the Board of Elders, teaching Sunday School, doing maintenance and greeting visitors at the Idyllwild Bible Church.

Mr. Lein retired from Tahquitz Pines in l992 after 44 years of service. He continued to be involved in many church activities, including Bible studies and prayer meetings, and delighted family and friends with beautifully crafted homemade greeting cards.

He and Mabel celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on May 9.

Mr. Lein suffered from congestive heart failure during his later years, but managed to remain active.

His family wrote, “A beloved saint and hero in the eyes of his family and friends, he is missed and cherished by many in the Idyllwild community which he loved and served for 55 years.”

Three children, Lorelette, Larkette and Lonnie, grandson Martin, and children-in-law Walt and Glenna, visited him during his last days.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 29 at the Idyllwild Community Church.