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William John Martin, known to his loved ones as Bill, passed away on September 15, 2023, in Pittsford, New York, at the age of 90. He was born on July 18, 1933, in Rochester, New York. Bill had a remarkable life filled with dedication, service, and accomplishments.
Bill’s journey began at Monroe High School in Rochester, where he completed tenth grade. At the age of 17, he joined the U.S. Navy, serving during the Korean War from 1950 to 1954. He was stationed on the USS Cabot and USS Wasp, as well as the carrier USS Franklin D Roosevelt. On the carrier, Bill’s responsibilities included being a parachute rigger and maintaining the oxygen systems for the planes. He was responsible for refilling oxygen tanks, maintaining oxygen masks, and ensuring emergency oxygen supply in parachutes. Bill’s commitment to his duty and meticulous attention to detail made him an invaluable asset to his unit.
After leaving the Navy, Bill pursued his education and completed the requirements for his GED (high school equivalency diploma). He went on to earn two college degrees, a BS from St. John Fisher University and an M.Ed. from SUNY Brockport. Bill’s thirst for knowledge and dedication to self-improvement were evident throughout his life.
Bill’s professional journey was diverse and impactful. He worked as a construction news reporter for Dodge Reports and later became a traveling sales representative for Miles Labs. However, his true calling was teaching. Bill completed the necessary certification classes to become a teacher in the public schools. He shared his knowledge and passion with students in Spencerport, Rochester, and Pittsford, New York. In 1969, he played a pivotal role in establishing the Pittsford Federal Credit Union, which originally served a small group of fellow teachers. Under Bill’s leadership, the credit union expanded its reach and now serves over 20,000 members, employs 60 individuals, and boasts assets of over $530 million. Bill’s dedication to education and financial well-being positively impacted the lives of countless individuals in his community.
Beyond his professional accomplishments, Bill cherished his personal relationships. He is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Bonnie, his son William M. Martin (Patricia), his daughter Hillary Martin (Ian McNabb), his granddaughters Jennifer Martin, Megan Martin Stevens (Jamaal) and Taylor Lindley, and great granddaughters Julie Stevens and Nina Stevens. Bill’s enduring love and support will continue to be felt by his family.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and William Edward Martin. Their memories will forever be treasured by those who loved them.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 20 from 4-7 pm at Miller Funeral Home, located at 3325 Winton Road South in Rochester, New York 14623. A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, September 21 at 10 am at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (25 Westminster Road, Rochester, NY 14607). Reception at the church to follow.
Bill’s military service, dedication to education, and contributions to his community will be remembered by all who knew him. He leaves behind a legacy of integrity, hard work, and kindness. May his soul rest in peace, and may his loved ones find solace in the memories they shared with him.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Literacy Rochester (with Library in the memo line), 1600 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620.