John “Fred” Martin, 99, formerly of Watertown

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL — John Frederick “Fred” Martin, 99 ½ , formerly of Watertown, NY and Port Charlotte, FL, died peacefully at Discovery Commons (formerly Windsor Oaks) of Bradenton on Jan. 22, 2019.

“Fred” was born July 31, 1919, in Watertown, NY, the youngest of five children born to Frank J. and Mary Amelia Gossman Martin. Fred served as an usher at the dedication of the Thousand Islands Bridge in 1938.  His father was a member of the original Thousand Islands Bridge Authority. Mr. Martin graduated from Watertown High School in 1936. He attended the Syracuse University Collegiate Center.

He was a veteran of World War II and retired with the rank of major after serving 22 years in the US Army Reserves.

Mr. Martin married Viola M. Brown on Sept. 30, 1944, at the Post Chapel, Ft. McPherson, GA. They celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in 2017.  Mrs. Martin died June 4, 2018, in Bradenton FL.

Mr. Martin retired as the manager of the cost accounting department from the New York Air Brake-General Signal after 42 years.

He was a past president (1955 to 1956) of the North Side Improvement League. He was a past exalted ruler (1965 to 1966) and life member of the Watertown BPO Elks Lodge #496. He also served as a district deputy and vice-president for the NY State Elks Lodge. In Florida he was a member of the Port Charlotte Moose Lodge #2121.

After he retired, Vi and Fred traveled extensively. They visited all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Ireland, Africa, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and the Holy Land where they renewed their marriage vows at Cana.

He is survived by five children, Patricia (Michael B.) O’Driscoll, Bradenton, FL, Frank J. (Bonnie) Martin, Orange Park, FL, Wayne J. Martin, Watertown, NY, Steven F. Martin, North Port, FL, and Sally (Steve) Peters, Woodinville, WA; 10 grandchildren:  Michael, Jr. and James Patrick O’Driscoll, Christie Martin, Gail Martin-Miller, Jessica Martin-Adams, Patrick and Mark Martin, Eric, Brendan and Gwen Peters; two great-grandchildren, Rebecca Miller and Connor Martin O’Driscoll; 12 surviving nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents and all his siblings:  Charles W., Joseph F., Eleanor M. Gilligan and (Mary) Elizabeth Hickey.

Mr. Martin was a long time member of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church in Watertown, NY.  After moving to Florida in 1988 he was a parishioner of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Port Charlotte.

Mr. Martin moved with his wife to Bradenton, FL in July 2015.

Visitation will be at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 7, 2019, at St. Joseph Catholic Church 3100 26th Street West Bradenton, FL with a Mass of Resurrection to follow at 10 a.m.. with Rev. Shawn Roser officiating. Interment with military honors to follow at the Sarasota National Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the Sacred Heart Foundation, Watertown, NY or The St. Joseph Food Pantry, Bradenton, FL

Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel, 604 43rd Street West Bradenton, Florida 34209 are in charge of arrangements.

Condolence may be made to: