Update: Local Calling Hours, Services Set For Congressman Martin

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Local calling hours and funeral arrangements were announced Friday for former north country Congressman David Martin, who died earlier in the week at his home in West Virginia.

The family will receive friends on Monday, December 3, 2012 from noon-8:00 pm at the O’Leary Funeral Home in Canton.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held the following day, Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 at 11:00am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Canton.

The complete obituary for former Congressman Martin can be seen here.

Our report from earlier in the week...

Former Congressman David O'B. Martin has died.

Martin died at his home in West Virginia Tuesday night under the care of hospice and his family.

He was 68 years old.

Martin, a Republican who was born in St. Lawrence County,served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1966 to 1970.

He served in the state Assembly from 1977 to 1980.

He was elected to Congress in 1980 and served until 1993, when he declined to run again.

Martin was a graduate of Notre Dame University and Albany Law School.

He got his start in politics as a member of the St. Lawrence County board of legislators.

Many people 7 News talked to say one of Martin's biggest accomplishments was helping persuade the Department of Defense to expand the military base at Fort Drum.

"His efforts to revitalize Fort Drum and to bring the reactivated 10th Mountain Division to our doorstep was, if not the biggest, certainly one of the biggest," John McHugh said.

McHugh, now Secretary of the Army, took over as congressman when Martin he retired.

"I don't think think any of us realized when he took the stage back in 1984 on Sterling Street at the American Legion and made that announcement (about the Fort Drum expansion), how all of our lives would change," McHugh said.

Tony Keating, civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army, worked with the former congressman during that time and said "Dave was one of the people who was there at the birthing, so to speak."

He added that Martin made "very, very significant contributions" and "was certainly one of the stalwarts" in the effort.

"He was a tireless advocate for using Fort Drum to a much greater extent than the Army was at that time," Keating said.

Many remembered him as a "champion of the north country" who always remembered his roots.

His former secretary, Judy Longshore, expressed the loss as "a sad day for family, friends and the north country as a whole."

His former press secretary, Alison Power, said "he was focused on the constituents, focused on doing the right thing while he was there."

Former newspaper editor Chuck Kelly remembered Martin as "an aggressive and decent man who was a hard-nosed Republican who always worked hard for the party."

"He never really did get seduced by Washington, if you will," Keating said. "He never did forget where he came from and represented this area of the state extremely well."

"Dave always had a funny story to tell," said former aide Cary Brick.

"He established friendships across the aisle with all kinds of stories about north country lore and things like that," Brick said.

"The representation that he brought from this area to Washington will be remembered a long, long time," said Hank Ford, chair St. Lawrence County Conservative Party.

"I always respected him for his honesty," said former labor leader Ernie LaBaff, a Democrat who was in the county legislature with Martin.

"He always told it like it was and I respected him for that," LaBaff said.

McHugh described Martin as "a guy from the north country who never lost his perspective, never lost his sense of humor, someone who I could always count on in telling me the right way forward."

"He'll be missed," McHugh added.

Funeral arrangements are being handled jointly by Island View Funeral Services of Morristown and O'Leary Funeral Home in Canton.

Local services are expected to include a mass at St. Mary's Church in Canton. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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