John Walter Martin John Walter Martin was born June 15, 1923 to Walter Edward Martin and Eleonor Murphy Martin in Jackson, Mich. He is preceded in death by his younger brother, Bill of Sturgis Michigan and his sister, Teresa of Detroit and his late, dearly beloved wife, Irene who passed away in January of 2011. As a child, John and his family lived for a brief period in Hull House in Chicago where his father was an associate of the social activist, Jane Addams. Later, he and his family moved back to Jackson where he was raised in a large extended family. John enlisted in the Marine Corps in December of 1941 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Following basic training at Camp Lejeune, N. Carolina and follow-on airborne training at Camp Pendleton, CA, he shipped out to the Pacific with the 1st Marine Division. There he saw combat on throughout the Solomon Islands on Guadalcanal, Vella- laVella, and Bouganville. He then returned to Camp Tarawa, where he joined other Marines in forming the V Marine Division,the unit that was specifically organized to train for the assault against fortified Japanese positions on the island of Iwo Jima. On 19 Feb, 1945, he and his unit, Company G, 3rd Battalion, 26 Marines, V Marine Division, Waded ashore. On 23 February, PFC John was wounded in action three times for which he was decorated with the Purple Heart Medal. While on convalescent leave back in his hometown, John met and fell in love with his future bride, Irene Martone. Following his discharge from the Marines and after completion of his degree in journalism from Michigan State University, the couple married in 1950. After trying sales he decided on a career in education and began teaching at James Monroe HS in the Bronx, NY. He then switched to special education and taught the mentally and physically handicapped for BOGES while in Elmsford. He retired in 1979 after teaching Health Education for 20 years at Shrub Oak Junior High School, Lakeland School District, Peekskill, NY. After retiring from that assignment, John spent the next five years working for the Veteran's Administration as a Recreation Therapists at the VA Hospital in Peekskill. A natural, teacher, endowed with an ocean of patience and a keen sense of humor, throughout his life he sought to serve and enlighten others. He is survived by his sons, Thomas and Gianni, daughters-in-law Helen and Diana and grandchildren Sandro Paolo, Chiara; Rachel, Emily and Giacomo, and other beloved family members and friends to include Tom Scott and Mina Martin. Friends will be received from 6 - 8 p. m. Tuesday, June 8, 2014 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 867 Grays Wood Blvd., State College, PA. A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a. m. Wednesday, June 9, 2014 at the church. Burial will be in Pine Hills Cemetery, in Southbury, Ct. A guest book can be signed or condolences sent to the family at www.heintzelmanfuneralhome.com.
Published in Centre Daily Times on July 6, 2014