John D. Martin of Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, formerly of Barrington, went to be with his Lord on July 11, 2019. He was surrounded by his loving family and friends who supported him in his battle with Mesothelioma for the last two years.
John was born on April 11, 1952 in Chicopee, Massachusetts, the son of Bradford R. Martin, Sr. and Anna (Pardo) Martin. He spent his formative years in Chicopee and attended Northfield-Mt. Hermon School, Class of 1970. He earned his B.A. cum laude from Tufts University, his M.Ed. from American International College, and his M.Divinity from Yale University. Upon graduating from Yale, John started a career in Independent Schools that included teaching or administrative posts at Choate-Rosemary Hall, Tabor Academy, The Peddie School and Sewickley Academy. He was proud to serve for nineteen years as the 7th Headmaster of St. Andrew’s School in Barrington, RI retiring in 2015. During his tenure at Headmaster, the school almost doubled in size, increased its endowment dramatically, and finished an ambitious building program that included a new science building, a new gymnasium, an expanded dining hall, two new dormitories, and an Arts Center. This was the result of two capital campaigns that raised more the $30 million. More significantly, he helped instill a sense of pride in St. Andrew’s mission and helped students see their potential. He was always happy to watch a struggling student succeed and walk across the stage to receive a diploma.
After St. Andrew’s, John decided to stay busy and became the Headmaster at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Nativity is a tuition-free school for underprivileged boys and John felt drawn to the mission having been a scholarship student himself. During his short time as Headmaster, John was able to oversee a change in curriculum as well as a significant building project that added play space for the boys. He also led a capital campaign that raised over $2.1 million for both renovations and a sustainability fund.
A devout Christian, John served as a leader in all the churches he attended teaching Bible classes and Church history. His belief in God’s love and salvation carried him through many difficult times. This was especially true as he faced terminal cancer. He never once doubted his faith and believed with all his heart death was not the end.
John married the love of his life Sheila Brennan Martin on March 2, 1985 and together they forged a relationship of love and friendship that stood the test of time. Best friends and lovers, they spent hours with one another attending their children’s games, running together, and just having fun. Besides Sheila, John leaves behind three loving sons, Patrick, Conor and John Ryan. He was proud of the men they had become and loved spending time with each of them. John also leaves behind his brother Bradford Martin Jr. and his wife Beth of Agawam MA, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Bill and Kathy Brennan of Rochester MA, his brother in law, William Brennan and his wife Melissa of Virginia, his sister-in-law Barbara Lochte of Seguine, Texas as well as eight nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on August 23, at 11:00 am at Barrington Baptist Church in Barrington RI. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers John asked that memorial donations be made to:
South Coast Community Church, 34 Center Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719
John Martin Scholarship Fund, Nativity Preparatory School, 66 Spring Street, New Bedford, MA 02740
John Martin Scholarship Fund, St. Andrew’s School, 63 Federal Road, Barrington, Rhode Island 02806
Arrangements are by the W. Raymond Watson Funeral Home, 350 Willett Avenue, Riverside. For online condolences please visit wrwatsonfuneralhome.com