BROOKFIELD/SPENCER — Earl J. Martin, Jr. of Brookfield and formerly of Spencer, died Friday, June 28 at his home surrounded by his loving family.
He always said the best days of his life was marrying his sweetheart of 62 years, Suzanne B. (Berthiaume) and the birth of his four children; Lori A. Gregoire and her husband Paul of Spencer, Lynn M. Bartholomew of Spencer, Luanne C. Frantz and her husband Patrick of Atlanta, Ga., and David E. Martin and his wife Carleen of North Brookfield, and becoming Spencer’s Fire Chief. He also leaves his sisters; Carole Lapierre and her husband Richard, Deborah Sniffen and her husband James all of Brookfield, 11 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
Earl worked as a machinist at Reed, Rolled Thread and Die in Holden for 18 years prior to his retirement.
Born in Spencer, he was the son of Earl J. and Jeanette M. (Cote) Martin, Sr. and graduated from David Prouty High School in Spencer. He later served his country with the U.S. Army during the Korean War, two years in the Army National Guard then eight years in the U.S. Army Reserves. He was a life member of the DAV Chapter 59 serving four tours as Commander and four tours as an aid to the State Commander, six tours on the DAV State Executive Board. These posts required him to travel throughout the state. He was a member of the VFW Post 2577 in Ware, served many years on the Executive Board of the Gaudette-Kirk Post 138 American Legion in Spencer. As a legion member he took it upon himself to raise enough money to renovate both restrooms and to add a handicap restroom. He also was responsible for remodeling the kitchen with new floors, sink and stove at no cost to the legion.
Earl was one of six men to organize the Spencer Rescue Squad. They worked together for a year before the ambulance service was put into use, getting it ready with all the equipment required by the State and taking First Aid classes.
As a Spencer fireman for 25 years, and later becoming Chief, he had great pride in knowing that he and his men were responsible for the lives and properties of all Spencer residents. As Chief, he knew that the way to fighting fires in Spencer had not changed for 50-60 years and realized it was time for that change. He convinced the Massachusetts State Fire Academy to come to the Spencer Fire Station to teach he and his men all the new ways to fight fires. Earl opened the classes up to all surrounding towns and by doing so, it was no cost to the town.
Funeral services for Earl will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 2 in the J. Henri Morin & Son Funeral Home, 23 Maple Terr., Spencer. Burial with Military Honors will follow in Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton. Calling hours are Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Gaudette-Kirk Post 138 American Legion, 175 Main St., Spencer, MA 01562.