ANDOVER, Vt. – Robert James Martin passed away peacefully at his home in Andover, Vt. on Dec. 11, 2021 after a long battle with cancer at the age of 75. Bob is survived by his brother William, William’s wife Mary, and his brother Michael; Alice, his wife of 50 years and their children, Cathy, Paul, and Christopher, and Paul’s wife Jody; and his granddaughters, Cassidy and Kylee.
Born in New York City to William and Mary Martin, he was raised with an appreciation of faith, humor, music, and learning. Bob met Alice early in their teens, but only became a couple after they had both finished college and met once again. He worked in the semi-conductor industry in California for a time, but returned to New York, where Alice and Bob were married and began their family life. Eventually, after attending colleges and universities in New York, California, and New Jersey he earned his Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Rutgers University.
While working full-time and completing the classes for his degree, he still made time to become a church lector and participate in several local leadership roles for the BSA. His enthusiasm and openness to learning new skills did not stop there. On one vacation, when his sons were younger, he learned, along with them, how to rock climb. He continued this skill for a few years, as did his sons into adulthood.
After over 40 years in the telecommunications industry, he retired to Vermont. Living in Andover for only a short time, by Vermont standards, Bob enjoyed meeting people and became acquainted with a number of persons who had the same interests as him: astronomy, singing with the Springfield chorus, lectoring at church, volunteering at the Whiting Library in Chester, and assorted other volunteer jobs in the Andover and Chester communities. As a retiree, he could pursue activities he had been meaning to get to over the years. He played a few tunes on the electric piano, sometimes practicing the same errors repeatedly. An avid reader, his interests included, but were not limited to, the topics of science, science fiction, and woodworking.
He used his sense of humor to survive rough patches in life, ease into new situations, to see the good in people, and sometimes help them to see the good in themselves. Whether the person was a business associate during the time of many changes in the telecommunications industry, a neighbor, friend, family member, or just a brief encounter with a stranger, he usually left the person with at least a smile on their face and perhaps a different way to look at something.
When diagnosed with cancer in 2017, he handled it with the same humor and positive manner, meeting it head-on honestly, realizing the negatives, but focusing on taking advantage of optimistic approaches and medical opportunities available to him.
That attitude of faith, courage, perseverance, tenacity, and, of course, sense of humor was shared and cultivated by his father, mother, and two brothers as he grew up. As Bob would put it, a full life contains the sweet and the bitter, allowing us the time to be grateful for both as we learn and grow.
An 11 a.m. mass was held at the Annunciation Parish Church in Ludlow on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, followed by a brief gathering with light refreshments in the church meeting room. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make donations to the Vermont Food Bank in Brattleboro, Vt.
Arrangements are under the direction of Davis Memorial Chapel.