John Costa Martin Jr, 88, passed away peacefully on May 8, 2023.
Mr. Martin was born at home, Greene’s Lane in Middletown, R.I., on October 9, 1934. He was the oldest of four children to John and Irene (Depoint) Martin. John married Roseanne Ellen Davis on September 3, 1966, at St. Anthony’s Church, Portsmouth, RI.
Mr. Martin is survived by his wife, Roseanne, daughters Cathleen (Michael) Sheils of King Ferry, N.Y, Mary Ellen Martin of Portsmouth R.I., Patricia (Dan) Holdridge, and grandson Holden Davis Martin of Deerfield, N.H. He is also survived by his sisters Mary Ann Martin of Newport, R.I, and Cecilia (Martin) VanHof of Tiverton, R.I., and nieces Michelle (Mignor) Grimes, Ann Marie Van Hof and nephew Kevin Mignor, and cousins.
His parents and sister, Linda (Martin) Mignor of Long Beach, M.S, preceded him in death.
He attended Henry F. Anthony School, Portsmouth, RI, graduating in 1948, and Rogers High School, Newport, RI, graduating in June 1952. He was active in ROTC and yearbook and served as a printer apprentice at Franklin Printing Press. After graduation, he pursued farming and construction before joining the Navy, graduating first in the U.S. Naval Schools Construction (Seabees) class in 1956 in Port Hueneme, California. While stationed in Cuba and Puerto Rico, he built military barracks.
John was the fifth full-time firefighter hired with the Portsmouth, RI Fire Department and served for 36 years, retiring as Lieutenant in 1992. He was the President of the Newport County Firemen’s League during his tenure. He earned an Associate in Science, Fire Science Technology from Bristol Community College in 1977 while working full-time and raising his young family.
Mr. Martin owned and operated Homestead Door and Windows (installation and repair) and BeSeated (chair caning) companies. Upon “retiring,” he started a woodcraft business designing and building birdhouses and unique Adirondack chairs found across Aquidneck Island and beyond.
Mr. Martin was an avid farmer from a young age, working on farms and farming his own land Homestead Farm, growing vegetables and flowers and raising cattle with his father and daughters. He was actively engaged in his community, serving as a founding member and treasurer of the Newport County 4-H Fair, 4-H club leader, softball coach, member of the Knights of Columbus, and volunteer for the R.I. 4-H Dairy program at Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, MA. He was instrumental in building the facilities at Glen Park, which residents enjoy today.
Mr. Martin was an avid reader, cross word puzzler and Red Sox fan. He valued his family, community, farming, history, Portuguese culture and building woodcrafts.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday, May 12, 2023, from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM in the Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, RI.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on May 13, 2023, at 9:00 AM in St. Anthony’s Church, 2836 East Main Rd, Portsmouth, RI. Burial with Military Honors will follow in St. Patrick Cemetery, 2233 Robeson St., Fall River MA.
Donations can be made in his honor to Rhode Island 4-H Club Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1925 Kingston, RI 02881.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Groskin, Dr. Mohammad and the team at Charlton Memorial Hospital for their attentive and kind care.