Conrad Martin was born on January 23 1929 in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Frank and Anna Martin. He attended various elementary schools and eventually Haaren High School from which he did not graduate because he would not do long division in the school sanctioned manner. This refusal to conform to what he believed was wrong or illogical presaged how he would continually interact with bureaucracies his entire life. However, he obtained his G.E.D and continued his education by attending St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y., part time, until graduating magna cum laude in June 1983 with a B.S. degree in – ironically – accounting.
He married Doris Van Lierop on January 14, 1948 and they had two children- Sheila and Conrad. Tragically, Sheila passed at 9 years old on May of 1957. He remained married for 37 years, until the untimely passing of Doris in October of 1985.
For most of his working life he was employed by various government entities. He and his wife began working for the N.Y.C. Dept. of Welfare on 6/1/49. She remained there until her retirement in 1985. He passed the test for Court Officer and transferred to Family Court in 1961 where he remained, had various assignments, received promotions, and retired in 1986 as a Court Clerk Specialist. During this time he worked part time in the U.S. Post Office for 20 years. He began as a Christmas temp in 1959 and immediately started the countdown for retirement from a job he detested.
Upon retirement from the court system, he worked as a bank examiner for F.D.I.C. and as an agent for the I.R.S. these jobs were sort lived and his retirement became permanent in 1988.
These were the achievements and defining moments of his personal and professional life. They are significant as way stations on the road of life. But they are not truly representative of who he was or how people knew him to be. He was considerate and sensitive person who was sympathetic to the needs and emotional condition of those who were close to him. Not only family and friends but even when informed of his passing, his mechanic misted over him when he was told. They each said a version of the same thing: he was so nice, respectful and gentlemanly.
These reactions are typical from those who knew him. He was dependable, quiet, unfailingly courteous, trustworthy, and calm no matter what the situation. He layed his cards close to the vest and was never over-proud or boastful of what he did with or for others.
He did not suffer fools gladly but when dealing with them, he remained cool and calm. Any distress about inefficiency and ineptitude would be expressed privately.
I think that everyone with whom he came in contact will remember him as someone who touched their life positively. Losing a soul like this is special because we recognize the magnitude of the loss. Celebrating him is an honor and a privilege. We are what we are but I wish we could all be more like him. We will miss him.
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