'Father Martin' Dead at 84

The Rev. Joseph C. Martin, founder of Father Martin's Ashley treatment program and author of the book 'Chalk Talks on Alcohol,' died this week of heart failure at age 84.

The Los Angeles Times reported March 10 that Martin, a recovering alcoholic since 1958, founded Father Martin's Ashley 25 years ago in Havre de Grace, Maryland. 'Chalk Talks' also was made into a film, and Martin produced more than 40 motivational films during his lifetime.

Martin was known for his entertaining lectures. “He seemed to believe that the discussion of alcoholism was too important to be taken deathly seriously,” said one member of Alcoholics Anonymous. “He thought that laughter was the best approach to reach the sick.”

More than 40,000 patients have been treated for addiction at Father Martin's Ashley since it opened in 1983.

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