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Reinhold I. Martin, age 95 years, of Flemington, NJ, died peacefully on Sunday, January 27, 2019, at Hunterdon Medical Center. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, September 7, 1923, son of the late Reinhold and Hilda (Paias) Martin, he formerly resided in Seaford, NY, and had lived in the Flemington area for thirty-eight years.

 

A 1942 graduate of the Tallinna Reaalkool, Reinhold left Estonia in September of 1944 with his sister, his mother, and his father, a retired intelligence officer, on the eve of the Soviet occupation. He and his family spent the remainder of the Second World War moving through central Europe with other displaced persons. In 1946, Reinhold resumed his education in the short-lived Baltic University in Hamburg, Germany, where he studied psychology, literature, and prehistory for three years. Later in life, he frequently entertained his children and grandchildren with lengthy monologues about these experiences, lessons that were equal parts autobiography and history.

 

In 1949, Reinhold and his mother emigrated to the United States, arriving in Boston and settling in the New York area. Shortly thereafter, he completed his education at Western Illinois University and began a long career as an insurance analyst and underwriter for Continental Insurance, later AIG. He and his wife Josephine met when both worked in insurance in Lower Manhattan. 

 

A lover of wilderness and an avid hiker, Reinhold was often seen walking his dog in the Bernadette Morales Nature Reserve. He maintained a close connection with the outdoors throughout his life, often also recounting childhood memories of alpine and Nordic skiing. Always grateful for the welcome he received, Reinhold became a proud citizen of his new country (and a Yankee fan), while his enthusiasm for soccer made that  sport into a family pastime and a bridge to his European heritage. Reinhold was a member of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, and attended St. Paul Lutheran Church of Flemington, NJ.

 

Surviving are his wife, Josephine (Cocozzelli) Martin; three sons and their spouses, Reinhold and Kadambari Baxi of New York City, Peter and Kristen of Fair Haven, NJ, and Joseph and Jennifer of Darien, CT; a sister, Ethel L. Peet, of Edmonton, Canada; and six grandchildren, Peter, James, Margaret, Neelan, Alexandra, and Catherine. 

 

Memorial service was held Saturday, February 2, 2019 in St. Paul Lutheran Church, Flemington, NJ. The sermon was given by pastor Robert Mueller and memories of father and grandfather were given by sons Joseph and Reinhold, and grandson Neelan. The bishop of Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Thomas Vaga attended the service and gave a short homily in memory of a member of his congregation, EELC of St. Paul, saying that Reinhold now has passed from this world of homelands and fatherlands into the Fatherland of Jesus.

 

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