Richard W. Martini
Richard Walter Martini, formerly of Amherst, passed away April 18, 2019 in Beaverton, Oregon. He died peacefully at home at age 94, in the company of family and caregivers.
Dick was born August 29, 1924 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Walter and Lydia (Schatner) Martini. Dick was married to Edith Compton in Waukesha, Wisconsin on October 12, 1957. He was preceded in death by his wife Edith, his parents, and sister Emmy (Martini) Meyer. He is survived by two children, twins (double Martinis) Margaret “Peggy” Martini (George Bollweg) of Morton Grove, IL and William Martini (Marilyn Jacobson) of Portland, OR, and two grandchildren, Claire Martini of Seattle, WA and Jacob Martini of Portland, OR
As a youth, Dick read books, and enjoyed family picnics on the dairy farms of his aunts and uncles outside Milwaukee. Dick enjoyed playing baseball, football, tennis, and golf. He was an avid lifelong sports fan, particularly of the Green Bay Packers.
Dick graduated from Whitefish Bay High School in 1942. He attended Marquette University for one semester, before interrupting his college education for 3 years of military service during World War II. Dick enlisted at age 18, and served from Feb 1943 to Apr 1946 in the US Army Air Force (AAF), where he was a corporal and trained as a weather forecaster. He was stationed stateside for two years, then in Europe for one year. He credited his army years for pulling him out of his isolated suburban existence and exposing him to the broader world. He considered himself lucky for not having gone through the hardships many vets faced in Europe and the South Pacific.
After the war, Dick enrolled at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. With the help of the GI Bill, and credit for classes he’d taken at UC Berkeley during the war, he earned a BS in Metallurgical Engineering in 1949. Dick spent his entire career working as a manufacturing process engineer in metal foundries. In 1971, he joined Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. in Milford, NH as Director of the Tech Center, and spent the final 19 years of his career there, until he retired in 1990.
Dick had many interests and hobbies and a quiet wit, and remained good conversational company to the end. Dick picked up the hobby of model railroading as a boy and participated in it throughout his life. As a youth, Dick sang in his church and school choirs, and began a lifelong love of jazz music.
Dick, Edith, and their 2 kids moved to New Hampshire in 1971, where they formed many dear and lasting friendships over the next 44 years. Dick and Edith enjoyed playing bridge with friends in all the places they lived. He and Edith were also able to take many trips together before Edith’s death in 1999, after almost 42 years of marriage. Favorite trips included retracing the Oregon Trail in a VW Vanagon, and two trips to Germany for mini-reunions with long-lost cousins.
Dick volunteered in town and community organizations. He served on the boards of the Amherst Town Library, Amherst Historical Society, and Souhegan Nursing Association, and was a member of the Lions Club and AAUW gourmet group.
In December 2015, following an acute health crisis while visiting his son Bill, Dick resettled permanently in Portland, Oregon. He spent his final three years residing comfortably and safely at the adult care home of his caretakers Cornelia and Pete Popa and their family in Beaverton. With Cornelia’s loving care, Dick was able to regain his health. He got an extra 3+ good years to spend living near family, including his grandchildren. He missed his life and friends in Amherst, but adapted to the unplanned relocation with his typical good nature.
Dick was an avid reader of books and periodicals, particularly of mysteries and histories. He liked “shooting the breeze” with his buddies and making new acquaintances. Dick lived in the present and enjoyed each day, taking what comes. He chalked up his longevity to “clean living”, somewhat ironically. He loved simple home cooking and was always appreciative of a good pork tenderloin, dry martinis (gin, with a twist), and lemon meringue pie. He maintained a positive disposition and interest in many things, and was always game for a visitor or outing.
Dick’s ashes will be interred next to Edith’s, at Meadow View Cemetery in Amherst, NH. A celebration of Dick’s life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 29 at the Congregational Church, 11 Church Street, in Amherst. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to SHARE Outreach Inc. or the Amherst Town Library. An extended obituary may be found at: www.springerandson.com/on-line-obituary/richard-w-martini.