Willard G. Martin Jr.

Willard G. Martin Jr.

SANDWICH — Willard G. Martin Jr. “Bud,” longtime resident of Sandwich, NH, died peacefully April 5, 2021, following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Bud was born in Boston, MA, the son of Willard G. Martin Sr., and Helen (Dey) Martin, and soon after moved to Laconia, NH, where he attended local schools and graduated from Laconia High School.

Bud received his bachelor’s degree from Bates College on a working scholarship for his debating skills. His debate team at Bates won the national debating title in 1959. After graduating from Bates, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and with honors in Economics, he went on to receive a scholarship to Harvard Law School. In 1962, he passed the New Hampshire bar exam and returned to his hometown to begin his law career. During his 57 years at Martin, Lord & Osman, PA, he served as an attorney, director, and president.

After being appointed by Governor Walter Peterson on December 12, 1972, Bud was sworn in as a special justice at the Laconia District Court in the Family Division where he served for 35 years. His docket consisted almost exclusively of juvenile cases — “his kids.” He wore a Mickey Mouse watch because the kids all thought that was cool, especially the younger ones whose eyes lit up in excitement. At that point, he would often give the child the watch as a special “gift.” He probably holds the record for most Mickey Mouse watches purchased. He made it his life’s mission to make a difference in the lives of children and families in need. Even after he was required to retire from the court at age 70, he immediately applied and became a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer so that he could continue his advocacy for children.

Bud’s life-long commitment to serving the community on both the local level and state level is truly noteworthy. When he was not acting in his capacity as a judge or attorney, Bud dedicated his services to many organizations including: Board of Selectman for the Town of Sandwich (2009-2018), Sandwich Planning Board (1989-2008), Salvation Army Advisory Board, Child and Family Services, Carroll County Coalition for Public Health, Carroll County United, Partners in Prevention, Neighbors in Need, the New Hampshire Bar Association, and University of New Hampshire Law School.

He was a co-founder of the Belknap County Citizen’s Council on Children and Families and was active in establishing the Carroll County Juvenile Justice Program. As a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Judicial Fellow, he was also involved in the national Reclaiming Futures program, which encourages communities to take charge and come together in helping teens to overcome drugs, alcohol, and crime. Bud served the town of Sandwich for 29 years starting in 1989. Hailed as a consensus builder, Bud’s calm leadership and ability to find common ground made him an effective leader.

In his spare time, Bud could be found relishing in the oasis of Barville Pond Farm. Every fall, Bud opened up his apple orchard to the public so that people could pick their own apples and make apple cider. During the winters, Bud was at his sugar house, teaching visitors the sugaring process and always sharing maple syrup treats. Bud won multiple first-place ribbons for his apples and maple syrup at the Sandwich Fair. His maple syrup even won third place for the prestigious Carlisle Award at the NH Maple Producers Association.

At the age of 50, Bud thought it would be a good idea to begin an exercise program. Because he said he was such a “nerd” in high school and therefore had no sports injuries, he decided to begin running. In the next decade, he completed the Burlington (VT) Marathon, the New York City Marathon, the Cape Cod Marathon, and numerous half marathons. Bud was also an avid alpine skier and water skier. Bud also believed that travel brought greater understanding and potential for good. He made several trips to China and Hong Kong while his daughter Melissa studied there. Bud visited his ancestral Scotland while his daughter Helen studied in Edinburgh. There, he met cousins with whom he shared the same great-great grandparents. While his youngest daughter Galya was studying in Salamanca, Spain and Paris, France, Bud focused on the wine in France, the gelato in Italy, and he walked the last segment (68 miles) of the El Camino medieval pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Bud is survived by his wife of 32 years, Margaret A. Demos; their daughter, Galya Martin of Hartford, CT; his two daughters, Melissa Martin and Helen Martin of Lebanon, NH; his brother, Richard A. Martin of Wilton, CT; his sister, Janet Martin of Derry, NH; his three grandchildren, Jezamine Martin, Coleman Martin Gross, and William Martin Gross; and several nieces and nephews.

Adhering to the guidelines of the State of New Hampshire and the CDC, social distancing is strongly encouraged and face coverings will be required.

Walk-through Calling Hours will be held from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 9, 2021, in the Carriage House at the Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH 03246.

Burial will be at held at later date at Union Cemetery, Laconia.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Bud’s name may be made to Salvation Army, 177 Union Avenue, Laconia, NH 03246 or CASA of NH, One Mill Plaza, Laconia, NH 03246.

Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services and 603Cremations.com, Laconia, NH, is assisting the family with arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial, please visit www.wilkinsonbeane.com.

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