John B. Martin RUTLAND TOWN — John Bronson Martin, 91, died March 20, 2020, with family by his side, at The Meadows in Rutland Town. He was born July 19, 1928, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Albert G. Martin and Marjorie (Lidstone) Martin. John grew up and was educated in Milton, Massachusetts. His early childhood took place in the Great Depression and he told of standing with his mother in bread lines in Boston. John graduated from Milton High School in 1945 and furthered his education at Tufts University, graduating with a degree in biochemistry in 1949. He then enrolled in the University of Vermont master's of education program, where he graduated in 1951. While at UVM, he met his future wife Janet Perkins on a hiking trip in the Adirondacks with the UVM Outing Club. They were married in Windsor on June 9, 1951. The next week John reported for U.S. Army basic training and subsequently Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Okla. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army 108th Field Artillery and shipped off, with Janet, to Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, to help in the rebuilding of Europe as part of the Marshall Plan. John and Janet returned to Vermont in 1954, when he took a position teaching science classes at Black River High School in Ludlow. In 1955, the family moved to Janet’s hometown of Rutland, and John took a position in the science department of Rutland Senior High School, teaching physics, chemistry, computers, math and driver’s ed for 30 years and becoming the head of the science department. After retiring from RHS in 1985, he was a long-term substitute at Mt. St. Joseph Academy on multiple occasions. Service to others was a hallmark of John’s life. He continued his service to the country in the Vermont National Guard. Over the years he donated innumerable gallons of blood through the Red Cross. During the summers, he worked for the Vermont Highway Department, cooked at Tamarack Notch Camp and Camp Sangamon. Summers also included trips with the family to take summer continuing education classes. With his children, he was a regular performer in the Southeast School Variety Show. In later years, his Mark Twain impersonations were a perfect place to share his dry sense of humor. John, Janet and the family took part in many hikes, Intersectionals and other Green Mountain Club activities over the years. In the early days of the environmental conservation movement, he and Janet ran the Vermont Ecology Course, a summer continuing education program for teachers to bring study of the natural world to their students. He was a longtime member of the St. Paul’s Universalist Church, which later became the UU Church of Rutland, where he served on various boards and committees. He and Janet resided in the City of Rutland until retiring to the Perkins family homestead “Beechwood” in Rutland Town in 1996. He enjoyed living in the country, traveling to see family and friends, the UU Fellowship and playing the harmonica and the hand harmonica he bought and learned to play while in Germany. He was also active with local theater groups, and performed in many area churches doing his impersonation of the humorist Mark Twain. Janet, his wife of 64 years, predeceased him in December 2015. He is survived by daughters Carol (Jeff) Wood, of Woodstock, Nancy (Walter) Ellison of Chestertown, Maryland, and Betsy (Nate) Putnam of Glenwood, Washington; sons Thomas (Gaye) Martin of Rutland and David (Nita) Martin of Brandon. He is also survived by two special “sons”, Lao Vang of Maple Grove, MN, and Vang Lee Xiong of Corcoran, MN, who lived with John and Janet after relocating from Laos to Rutland in the 1980s. John has twelve grandchildren, Amy and Erin Wood, Ruth, Ned, Neola, Bethany and Forrest Putnam, Ian Ellison, Vera, Reed, and Marion Martin, and Thomas Martin, one great-grandchild Caroline Vorce, and many nieces and nephews. A service will be held at a future date. Donations may be made to the UU Church of Rutland, 117 West St., Rutland, VT 05701; or the Vermont Chapter of the Red Cross, 32 No. Prospect St., Burlington, VT 05401. Arrangements are by Tossing Funeral Home.

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Judy McCarthy

Carol, Nancy, Betsy, Tom, and David, I am so sorry to read of your fathers' passing. Sending warm thoughts and prayers to you all. Judy McCarthy


My condolences to John’s family. Your dad was a wonderful, kind, caring man who touched many lives through the years. May your loving memories bring you consolation in this time of loss. Sr. Martha St. Onge

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