Robert Martin Obituary

Robert Alan Martin
Robert Alan Martin

January 5, 1947 - June 11, 2019
Born in New London, CT
Resided in Old Lyme, Connecticut


Judge Robert Alan Martin

Old Lyme. Judge Robert Alan Martin, 72, beloved husband of Judge Susan B. Handy, passed away at Yale New Haven Hospital on June 11, 2019. He was born in New London on January 5, 1947, son of the late Thomas G. Martin and Nicoletta (Miceli) Martin.

Bobby graduated from New London High School in 1965. He played both center and linebacker and was inducted into the New London High School Football Hall of Fame in 1989. In the early 1970s he was a registered conscientious objector, fulfilling his service obligation by working at the Chippewa reservation teen center in Minnesota, where among other duties, he coached boxing. He received his B.A. from Goddard College in 1976 and his J.D. from Western New England School of Law in 1979.

Upon completing law school, then Attorney Martin was part of the initial class of Connecticut Superior Court law clerks. He went into private practice in his home town and with his childhood friend, ultimately formed the law firm of Martin & Piacenza, practicing both civil and criminal litigation.

While in private practice, Bobby continued his family’s legacy of public service. In 1981 he was elected to the New London City Council, serving two terms as mayor in 1983 and 1987. In 1991 he was honored by the city’s Italian American Civic Association in recognition of his exceptional community service. In 1997 he received the Man of the Year Award from the Southeastern Connecticut Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.

In December of 1990, Governor William O’Neill nominated then Attorney Martin to be a Connecticut Superior Court Judge. He served in that role with distinction for 29 years, most recently as a judge trial referee mediating civil cases. From 1998 to 2002, and again in 2007, he served as presiding judge of civil and from 2000 to 2003 as assistant administrative judge in the New London Judicial District. He was proud that his chambers in the historic New London courthouse were once his father’s office as High Sheriff. In 2011 he received the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association Judicial Award in recognition of his many efforts adjudicating civil cases.

Bobby was a passionate music fan, attending countless concerts throughout the years. With family and friends, he frequently attended shows at the Kate in Old Saybrook and the Knickerbocker in Westerly. A consummate Bob Dylan fan, he and his son Josh roadtripped to virtually every concert within reasonable (and often unreasonable) driving distance. He took great pride in all of his children’s musical talents but especially his daughter Raina’s singing and songwriting.

Another of Bobby’s passions was golf. He was a member of the New London Country Club for over 30 years and served on its board of directors. He passed that love on to his sons, Josh and Luke, and enjoyed hundreds of rounds with his boys, once scoring a hole-in-one on Luke’s birthday. Bobby had many fond memories of courses played with his brothers-in-law in Scotland, Hawaii, California, Florida, Washington and Arizona.

He was a lifelong New York Yankees and Giants fan. Despite his best efforts, he could not convince his wife’s family to lose its Boston allegiances, making for many interesting rivalries in the Martin/Handy household. He loved Saratoga and the summer races, Harkness, UConn basketball, traveling, winters in Florida, FaceTiming with Al Pollock - his dear friend since kindergarten, trips to New York City with the Robainas, and a good vodka on the rocks.

Most of all, Bobby loved his immediate and extended family with whom he created so many wonderful memories. A recent and cherished memory was traveling to the small village of Tusa, Sicily with Susan and his friends, the Messinas, to visit the birthplace of his maternal grandparents. With the help of Tusa’s former mayor, he found his grandparents’ birth certificates in the town hall. It was a poignant day for him. His wish would be for us to rejoice in our memories and live our lives to create as many new memories as we can.

Besides his wife, he leaves his children, Joshua C. Martin (Michelle) of Niantic, Raina T. Martin of New London, and Luke T. Martin of West Hartford; his former wife and children’s mother, Nancee T. Martin of New London; his stepdaughter, Claire B. Handy (Benjamin) and two granddaughters, Ava Sue and Delila Mae Bouchard, who lit up “Bob-Bob’s” world, of Kittery, Maine. He also leaves behind his brother, Thomas G. Martin, Jr. (Marilyn) of Windsor, his twin sister, Mary (Sis) M. Brock (James) of Mill Valley, California; his brothers-in-law, Donald Brodeur (Liz) of Fair Oaks, California and Paul Brodeur (Natalie) of Seattle, Washington; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Bobby’s life was also enriched by many close friendships, some going back nearly seven decades. Whether old or new, he relished the time he spent with his friends.

Neilan Funeral Home of New London is handling funeral arrangements. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church, New London on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 11 a.m. Visiting hours will take place on Tuesday, June 18, 2019, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Neilan Funeral Home, 12 Ocean Avenue, New London. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank, 374 Broad Street, New London, CT 06320. Following the funeral mass, a luncheon will be held at Tony D’s Restaurant, 92 Huntington Street, New London, to which all are invited.

The family extends its sincere appreciation to the doctors, nurses and staff at both Yale New Haven Hospital and Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center for the care they extended to Bobby.




Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home
12 Ocean Avenue
New London, CT US 06320
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Joseph Church
17 Squire Street
New London, CT US 06320
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
11:00 AM

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