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MARTY, Merlin J. "Mickey"

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MARTY, Merlin J. "Mickey." (Dubuque, IA, Feb. 24, 1922--Galesburg, IL, Mar. 8, 2013). "Mickey" was the oldest of twin sons to George and Margaret (McManus) Marty. At COLUMBIA ACADEMY he set a scoring record with 1,030 points while still a junior. He was placed on the IDPA (Iowa Daily Press Association) Iowa All-State Basketball Honor Roll as a junior and again as a senior when he ran his individual point total to 1,440. In his senior year, COLUMBIA ACADEMY won the Consolation Division title in the National Catholic Invitational Basketball Tournament in Chicago, and he received the tournament's Outstanding Individual Player award. This was only the second time this honor had been presented in the history of the competition.

He married Dorothy Iris Keller at a 7 a.m. mass at Sacred Heart Church, Dubuque, Iowa, on April 18, 1942.

Mickey joined the Marines in 1943. At the Marine Corps base San Diego, he received the Honor Badge of Efficiency award as the top recruit in his class and was named Drill Instructor for the next two cycles of new recruits. He was then assigned to the El Toro, California Marine base basketball team, which won 55 consecutive games. After basketball, he was shipped out to the Pacific Theater where he was assigned combat duty until the end of WORLD WAR II. He was discharged on Christmas Day 1945.

Upon returning home to his wife and two sons, Mickey resumed his college and basketball career at LORAS COLLEGE although he had been encouraged to join the University of Iowa. He was named a Converse All-American in 1948, the first player ever from a small college to be named to a major college All-American team. He graduated cum laude in just over three years with a degree in economics. Marty set a basketball scoring record of 1,411 points which has only been broken by players who took all four years. He graduated with a scoring average of 17.4 points. In 2013 he still ranked tenth on Loras' career scoring chart.

After college, Marty turned down an offer to play professional basketball and chose to teach and coach in Mason City, Iowa, and Austin, Minnesota. He was a play-by-play announcer on radio as well as a top sports official alongside his brother, Milt, during the 1950s in Iowa. He once shared that the brothers never called a technical foul on a coach because it would only lead to hurting the players involved. Mickey also broadcast basketball games and on several occasions would referee the first game of a double-header and then broadcast the second game. He was general manager at CRESLANES for six years from 1959 to 1965.

Marty moved to Galesburg in 1965 as manager of Northgate Lanes and worked there until his retirement in 1982. Many Galesburg residents remember Mickey's radio bowling program on WGIL/WAIK in the 1960s and 1970s. Mickey is a Hall of Fame member at Loras College and is in the Iowa High School Association Hall of Fame and the Galesburg Bowling Association Hall of Fame.

During retirement, Mickey and Dorothy spent years in Harlingen, Texas and then Port Charlotte, Florida. In Harlingen, Mickey was activities director at Sunshine RV Park and taught Mexican children to speak English. In Port Charlotte, he volunteered at the local hospital.

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Sources:

Campbell, Clete. "Marty Lived Life to Fullest," Telegraph Herald, Mar. 13, 2013 1B

Wilson, Tom. "Galesburg and Mickey Marty Adopted Each Other" ...http://www.galesburg.com/newsnow/x1522337100/Tom-Wilson-Galesburg-and-Mickey-Marty-adopted-each-other Posted, March 12, 2013