Colonel Bruce A. Martin passed away peacefully at his home in Cape Neddick, ME on February 2, 2018 surrounded by family after a two year valiant battle with pancreatic cancer.
Born in New York City, NY on February 13, 1933, to George and Florence Martin, Bruce was raised in West Boylston, MA and Ogunquit, ME. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Vermont in 1955, he entered the Marine Corps through the Officer Candidate program in January of 1956. He achieved and proudly wore the Naval Aviator Wings of Gold and the Navy and Marine Corps Parachute Wings. Col Martin flew 235 combat missions in Vietnam, accumulating over 5000 accident-free flight hours in the F-8 and A-4 airframes. His decorations include: The Defense Superior Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross (3 awards), Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, numerous Air Medals, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, and various campaign and unit citations.
Following command tours of Marine Attack Squadron 322 (VMA-322) and Marine Aircraft Group 49 (MAG-49), Col Martin served as a Legislative Aide and later Plans and Policy Director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He retired in 1985 after completion of 30 years of faithful service. He completed his Master's Degree in Government and National Security Studies at Georgetown University in 1987 while enjoying life on his sailboat at The Capitol Yacht Club, often carousing with fellow Marines in the DC area. Some of them referred to him as “Lefty” due to his political leanings relative to most of his comrades yet all remember him as a special and unique Officer with unwavering ethical integrity.
Bruce was a touchstone for many; curious, charming, funny and flirtatious with a sharp sense of humor. He loved being a Marine, fighter pilot, Ogunquit beach lifeguard, sailor on the Jessica B, marathon runner, hiker, ferocious reader, and writer where he spent his retirement years traveling the world with his love, Annie, reviewing hotels for AAA, Hilton and Loews Hotels. He also had a soft spot for cats, dogs, birds, flowers, music and a good bottle of red wine. He was an active member of many clubs and organizations to include the New York Yacht Club, the Quiet Birdmen, Marine Corps League, Daedalus, Military Officers Association of America, the Tailhook Association, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the National Audubon Society.
He is preceded in death by his parents, son Bruce A. Martin, Jr. and his wife Annie Holt Sullivan. He is survived by two adult children William M. Martin of Wells, ME and Sarah Moseley Martin of New Orleans, LA and his step-daughter and son-in law Lisa and John Gaudet of Wells, ME.
A Memorial Service saluting Bruce’s exceptional life is planned for June 2nd at the Cape Neddick Country Club at 2PM. Interment with full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Animal Welfare Society, PO Box 43, West Kennebunk, ME 04094.
The family extends their gratitude to Dr. James Cleary at Dana Farber, Hospice of York County, Comfort Keepers and the tireless many that came from near and far to attend to the countless needs the past couple of years demanded.