CANTON --- A Mass of Christian Burial will be held today for David O’Brien Martin, Canton high school graduate and North Country congressman, who died last week. The service will be at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Canton, with Father Douglas Lucia, celebrant.
Martin, 68, had been living in Hedgesville, West Virginia, when he passed away Tuesday, Nov. 20 in his home while under the care of hospice and surrounded by his wife and family.
Martin will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
Martin had a distinguished career representing the North Country in political positions beginning with his election as a St. Lawrence County legislator for Canton. He then challenged Democrat incumbent Dan Haley for a seat in the state Assembly, winning the first of two terms in 1976.
On the retirement of Congressman Robert McEwen, he ran for and won the North Country seat in Congress in 1980, where he served until 1993.
Martin was born in 1944 to Edson A. Martin, who himself would be elected St. Lawrence County Sheriff, and Anne O’Brien Martin. He spent his early life in Canton, graduating from Hugh C. Williams High School in 1962, the leaving for Indiana and college at the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated in 1966.
Upon graduation from Notre Dame, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, flying F-4 Phantoms fighter jets in Vietnam, earning numerous citations.
After discharge from the Marines, Martin attended Albany Law School, graduating in 1973 and returning to Canton to practice law.
Martin remained an advocate of a strong military during his congressional career, serving on the House Committee on Armed Services, where he shared with colleagues his expertise as a Marine Corps officer. He worked for and won the relocation of the Army’s 10th Mountain Infantry Division to Fort Drum, a great boon to his district.
After retiring from Congress, Martin taught at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. as a professor of national security decision making, before deciding to use his legal skills in behalf of the National Soft Drink Association, accepting a position as Vice President for State and Local Affairs.
In 2000 he established and served as president of Martin, Fisher, Thompson & Associates, a Washington, D.C. based government affairs consulting, marketing and lobbying firm.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, 909 N. Washington St., Suite 400, Alexandria, VA 22314 and/or The Wounded Warrior Project, 1120 G Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 2005.