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On Sunday August 13th, Nunzio (Nunzy) John Martino, age 101 ½, a lifelong resident of Marlborough, passed from this life into everlasting life with God, surrounded by his loving family at his bedside. Nunzy lost his soulmate Regina (Calitri) almost 30 years ago. They were happily married for 48 years. Four years after losing Regina, Nunzy met Rita, and they were companions for the last 26 years.
Nunzy leaves behind his daughter Marsha Gleason and her husband Robert, his son Dr. Richard Martino and his wife Pearl, his grandchildren Tracy Martino and her husband Stephen Murray, Carla McAuliffe and her husband John, Peter Gleason and his wife Kirsten, Mara Power and her husband Keith. He also leaves 5 great-grandchildren, Mia McAuliffe, Keegan and Ryan Gleason, and Ellie and Anna Power. Nunzy was predeceased by his wife, Regina, his Dad Carlo (Pa), his brother Angelo, his sister Mary and many sister and brothers-in law.
Nunzy was a World War II Naval Veteran who served with the hand-picked elite crew aboard the USS Benjamin Franklin (CV-13) affectionately referred to as “Big Ben”. She was the newest and most advanced Aircraft Carrier that the United States Navy had in its fleet at that time and she was the “PRIZE” that the Japanese chose to destroy, in a last ditch effort, to display their withering Naval Power. Japanese planes hunted Big Ben down and tried unsuccessfully to sink her. Franklin suffered many casualties, but she remained afloat after sustaining one of the most horrific attacks ever on a United States Naval Warship. Nunzy was one of the 704 crewmembers to survive the attacks out of a compliment of 3000 men. He remembered with detail that terrible day at sea on 19 March 1945. At 0707 hours, a Japanese bomber slipped under the radar to attack Franklin in what is termed one of America’s most fiercest battles at sea. She was the most heavily damaged ship in US Naval History to sail home to port and her crew remains, to this very day, the most decorated crew in the history of the United States Navy. Nunzy is was a Life Member of the Italian American War Veterans Post #45 in Marlborough, and a life Member of the Sons of Italy Bandiera e Concordia Lodge #240.
After returning home from the Navy, Nunzy worked at the old Curtis Shoe Co. in Marlborough while attending Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.,MA attaining a License of Stationary Engineer which enabled him to change careers. He then was offered a position at General Motors in Framingham, MA as a Stationary Engineer in the Powerhouse of the Plant, remaining there for the next 32 years until his retirement. In retirement, he and Regina planned and guided many Senior trips with their friends, and they travelled extensively.
Nunzy was an avid golfer and played until he was 98 years old, still hitting straight…but not as far. He prided himself in routinely playing a round of golf with only 1 or 2 balls. He enjoyed playing pool with his good friend Les at the Marlborough Senior Center, in fact, they were the very first men to play pool on the new table there. He remained an automobile enthusiast even after he stopped driving at age 93. In 2019, Nunzy was given the honor of being chosen to be Grand Marshal of the Labor Day Parade for the City of Marlborough.
Through the years, Nunzy and Regina were actively involved in not only in their children’s education, but also in their extracurricular activities, the Marlborough High School Band Parents and the Immaculate Conception Ecumenical Drum and Bugle Corps along with being members of the committees for annual Christmas Bazaars, Italian Festivals and Penny Sales at St. Ann’s Parish in Marlborough.
His funeral Mass will be held at 11 AM on Friday, August 18, at St. Mary of the Hills Parish, 630 Cross St. Boylston, MA. Burial, with military honors, will follow in Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Marlborough, MA.
A calling hour will precede the Mass from 10 to 11 AM in the church.
The family would like to thank his neighbors Les and Donna, Judy and Bob, the VA Home Based Primary Care Team, St. Francis Rehabilitation and Nursing Home, Notre Dame Hospice Care and the Lutheran Home Hospice for their wonderful care and compassion. They also request that, in lieu of flowers, a donation to Notre Dame Hospice Care (Veterans Services), 555 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605 would be greatly appreciated.
The Short & Rowe Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the Martino family with arrangements.