Martin Lee Mahula

Martin Lee Mahula of Columbia died Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010, at South Hampton Place. He was 89.

He was born Sept. 18, 1921, in Sundance, Wyo., to James and Frances McKean Mahula. He grew up in Salem, Ore.

Mr. Mahula served in the Air Force during World War II. He stood 6 feet 8 inches tall and was recognized as the tallest soldier in the Air Force. He was also the only person allowed to bring his own custom bed to boot camp. For Mr. Mahula, finding a bed long enough was a lifelong challenge.

He married Marydean Lawler on April 7, 1956.

Mr. Mahula taught in the North Platte, Neb., public schools for more than 30 years. In the summers, he operated Mahula’s Cotton Candy and Cody Park Children’s Rides for more than 20 years. He moved to Columbia in 1997 to be near his daughter Mary and her family.

He enjoyed the companionship of Mary Ruth Hyde during his later years.

Mr. Mahula is survived by daughter Mary Lamberson of Columbia; daughter Margaret Hill and her husband, Tony, of Denton, Texas; and seven grandchildren, PJ Lamberson and wife Georgia of Chicago, Christine Lamberson of Madison, Wis., and Iris, Isaac, Zane, Luke and Lily Hill of Denton, Texas.

His wife died earlier.

Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 903 Bernadette Drive, Columbia, MO 65203. Mass will follow.

Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, 1217 Business Loop 70 W..

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Russell Boulevard Elementary School, 1800 W. Rollins Road, Columbia, MO 65203 and the St. Vincent de Paul Society through Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

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