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Dr. Richard James Martin

Born August 9, 1916 in Lancaster, PA, he was the first born son of Hildegarde M. (Freiler) and James F. Martin, Sr. His family moved to Philadelphia when he was in the 6th grade.

Despite the woes and trials of the Great Depression, he studied hard in school. During the early Golden Age of Aviation (during the time of Lindbergh) he became enamored with aviation – a love which directed his entire future life.

In 1936 he enrolled in Villanova University in a pre-med course. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1940 and was accepted in medical school at Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia, PA.

As World War II was in full action at that time, he enlisted as a medical student in the Navy V-12 program. Upon graduation, after receiving a degree of Doctor of Medicine, he served an internship at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, IL.

He commenced active naval duty in 1944 when he was assigned to the Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA. While there, he met a Navy nurse from Rhode Island and married her in late 1944. Shortly thereafter he received orders and was assigned to the South Pacific, serving 1 year as medical officer of a division of 6 rocket gunboats. He participated in the landing invasion of Okinawa which occurred on Sunday, April 1st, 1945 (April Fool’s Day, as well as, Easter Sunday). Upon the cessation of hostilities, he received orders to the Naval Hospital at Newport, RI., serving until he was discharged from active duty to the Naval Reserve in 1945.

He opened his medical office at North Scituate, RI., in 1945 – practicing as a rural doctor for 7 successful years. In 1952, during the Korean War, he requested active duty in the Navy and asked for assignment to the School of Aviation Medicine. His request was granted. He completed the academic studies and flight training and was designated a Naval Flight Surgeon.

In 1956 he was assigned to the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY and received a Master’s Degree in Radiation Biology as preparation for assignment to nuclear powered vessels.

In subsequent years he served as medical officer of carrier based antisubmarine squadrons, Naval Air Stations and Navy aircraft carriers, including senior medical officer on the USS Independence (CV-62). He advanced to the rank of captain in 1959.

In 1970 he received orders as Commanding Officer of Naval Hospital – Patuxent River, MD, with additional duty on the staff of Admiral, Naval Test Center at Putuxent River. In 1972 he retired from Naval Service after 30 years and accepted a position as Administrator of St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown, MD, serving in that position until 1979.

In subsequent years Dr. Martin was an active volunteer in community and church affairs. He has served on county advisory boards – including mental health, alcoholism and mental retardation – and on the St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary and the St. Mary’s Hospital Board of Directors. He was active in Breton Bay community affairs, serving on the corporate Board of Directors of Breton Bay Recreation, as well as, an active member of Breton Bay Civic Association.

He was an active communicant of St. Aloysius Church, serving as lector and CCD instructor. He was the first president of the School Advisory Board at Father Andrew White School.

As an avid supporter of his alma mater, Villanova, he participated in many alumni events. He was an alumnus board member of his graduating class of 1940. In 1990 he was awarded the university’s prestigious Alumni Medal.

Dr. Martin was an avid reader who enjoyed swimming, gardening, painting and model making.

He was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Evelyn, and is survived by two children – Jacquelyn Martin of Collegeville, PA and Robin Riordan of Cayucos, CA – and three grandchildren – Kelly Riordan, Kevin Riordan and Stephanie Olekszak. He was predeceased by a son, Captain Brian Martin, of Fort Lauderdale, FL, a sister, Mary P. Bartley, of King of Prussia, PA, and a brother, James F. Martin, Jr., of Glenolden, PA.

Funeral arrangements are by Brinsfield Funeral Home, Leonardtown. Family will receive friends for Richard’s Life Celebration on Sunday, June 23, 2019 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., with a Prayer Service at 4:00 p.m., at Brinsfield Funeral Home, 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, June 24, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 22800 Washington Street, Leonardtown. A Graveside Service with Military Honors will follow in the church cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Aloysius Church – P.O. Box 310, Leonardtown, MD 20650, or St. Mary's Hospital, P.O. Box 527, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

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