ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – It would be easy to say that this is simple story about KRQE News 13 losing a beloved colleague, but the more you know about Bob Martin the more you’ll realize that people all across New Mexico lost a man with a passion for flying, for science and the history of our state.

Many of our viewers will remember pilot reporter Bob Martin flying above a wildfire giving up-to-the-minute details on the firefight below – but Bob was everywhere.

In his more than 40 years as a reporter, Bob reported from all over the state. His reporting from the air was both visual and informative. When New Mexicans were facing the worst from flooding or some of the most destructive fires in the state’s history, this Soccoro high school and proud ENMU graduate was at his best:

Here in the mountains above Los Alamos, the scars of the Cerro Grande fire are still evident.

said Bob reporting on the Cerro Grande fire 10 years ago, on to

Lytle and others say there will be a chile crop this years but this water shortage cannot be survived forever.

from the Hatch chile drought. And from Iraq:

Despite the intensity of the war effort, its not all work and no time off here – and time off is important.

Bob loved stories – big and small. “He loved all of New Mexico, he loved the small towns of New Mexico, he loved going to the small towns of New Mexico, he loved telling their stories, whenever there was a story to tell,” said longtime colleague and former KRQE News Anchor, Dick Knipfing

His stories ranged from a quiet piece on a remote fire tower in the Pecos built in 1940 to the state’s signature event, bringing us a bird’s eye view of the Balloon Fiesta.

“We were saddened deeply,” says Bernalillo County Undersheriff and pilot Larry Koren who shared the skies with Bob. “He had a love for New Mexico and uniqueness of New Mexico and he had a great deal of love for aviation and seeing all three of those passions come together on the way he presented his stories, its just reflected through every story that he put out.”

And Bob brought a very personal touch to his work. He was famous for replying to worried homeowners while covering wildfires by text or email to tell them the condition of their homes.

General Manager Bill Anderson put the feelings of everyone here at KRQE into this statement:

Bob was so good, but he was humble about being good. He was behind, or above some of the biggest news stories on KRQE for the last three decades. Yet he was rarely around for the high-fives because he was already onto the next news story. Bob lived for others. We all loved him and I am certain he knew it.

Perry A. Sook, Chairman, President and CEO of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. stated:

Bob Martin was an extraordinary citizen in the local community and in the KRQE newsroom, where he was highly respected among his peers for his exceptional integrity and storytelling.  His passing is a profound loss for the KRQE and Nexstar family. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family now and in the days to come.

Bob leaves behind a father, three brothers and a wife of seven years.Related

Editor’s Note

Bob was born in Texas then moved to Soccoro when his parents took teaching positions there.