In Memoriam: Leslie Kendall Martin


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of long-time volunteer Leslie Kendall Martin, of East Falmouth on Wednesday, May 16, after a long struggle with Alzheimers. He was 80.

Les was born in New Bedford, MA, on August 1, 1931.  He was the son of Leslie P. and Evelyn Martin. Les grew up in Nantucket and moved to Newton, MA, where he graduated from Newton High School. He was a graduate of Boston University where he rowed with the crew and there made many lifelong friends.

During the Korean War, Les served in the United States Navy attached to NATO Headquarters in Naples, Italy and Izmir, Turkey.

Les was manufacturing manager at Benthos-Tap Tone of North Falmouth for twenty years prior to his retirement in 1994. Before moving permanently to Falmouth in 1974, he was employed in the Boston-area electronics industry while residing in Needham, MA.

After retiring, Les volunteered at WHOI in the Archives in the early ‘90s with both Bill Dunkle and Steve Gegg. Les worked with the Institution's historical map collection, archive photographs (Hahn), and the historical instrument collection.  All have turned out to be valuable resources and his contributions were important. He also volunteered onboard the schooner Ernestina. Les officiated at track meets and soccer games at Falmouth High School. He was a familiar sight rowing on Bournes’ Pond in East Falmouth. He was a life member of The Union Boat Club of Boston and until a few years ago, competed annually in the Head of the Charles Regatta. Among his fondest rowing memories was a seventeen day dory trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon; also when he twice was part of the 170 man crew on the replica of the ancient Greek Trireme Olympus in Poros, Greece.

Les liked to travel and, with his wife, visited many interesting places. After retiring they spent winters in Anna Maria, Florida.

Les was an avid reader and photographer, enjoyed poetry, and music. He sang for many years with The Greater Falmouth Mostly Mens’ Chorus. He loved the ocean and spent many pleasurable hours sailing, swimming, fishing, and shell fishing. Les usually had a project going and was always ready to offer a helping hand. His favorite expression was “if you rest, you rust.”

In addition to his wife, Ruth (Simpkins) Martin of53 years, he is survived by son Jeffrey and his wife Joyce of Belmont, MA, and son Charles of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; grandchildren Matthew, Daniel, Michelle and Julia; brothers Robert of Florida and David of Natick, MA, and several nieces and nephews.

A period of visitation will take place from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., on Sunday, May 20, at the Chapman Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main St., Falmouth Center. A Funeral Service will take place at 3:00 p.m., on Sunday, following the period of visitation.  Burial will be at 10:45 a.m., on Monday, May 21, in the V.A. National Cemetery, Bourne.

Donations in Les’ memory may be made to Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod & Islands, 712 Main Street, Hyannis, MA 02601.

Information for this obituary was taken from the Cape Cod Times.



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