Bruce H. Martin

Bruce H. Martin, 84, of Saunderstown, Rhode Island passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, surrounded by his adoring family.  Born in Providence, Rhode Island, he was the son of the late Terrence and Caroline (Makara) Martin.  He was the beloved husband of the late Barbara (Bruno) Martin and the late Eleanor M. (Harris) Martin, and the beloved partner of Shirley A. Schultz.

Bruce is survived by his children, Bruce Scott Martin and his wife Susan, Barry Martin and his wife Gail, Melanie Martin Lawhead and her husband John, and Christopher Martin and his partner, Kerilyn Sabetta.  He is also survived by his granddaughters, Amanda and Megan Martin and Makena Lawhead, and by his great-grandsons, Roman and Mason Martin.  

After graduating from Warren High School, Bruce settled in Narragansett, where he raised his family and enjoyed a long career in appliance sales, followed by a second career in architectural drawing.  Bruce used to tease that he supplied most of Narragansett with their appliances, and he was likely right.  In his second career, Bruce graced his community – near and far -with beautiful, one-of-a-kind, pen and ink renditions of landmarks and homes.  In his later years, Bruce divided his time between Narragansett and Florida with Shirley, laughing alongside their generous sweep of family and friends.

Throughout each chapter of his life, Bruce showed himself to be a true Renaissance man.  

Bruce was an athlete.  He started his life-long love of sports as a three-sport Warren High School varsity athlete, captaining the basketball, baseball and football teams.  Bruce was an ace pitcher, known as Dizzy Dean.  Once he retired his sneakers, Bruce nurtured his love of the New England Patriots and, much to everyone’s surprise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  He was also the (unofficial) thumb wrestling champion of New England.

Bruce was an artist. His natural gift for architectural drawing led him to be chosen to be the designer of the Plum Beach Lighthouse license plate – one of his proudest accomplishments.  Bruce was an active member of the Wickford Art Association and Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse.

Bruce was a true-blue life partner.  He adored his first wife, Barbara, who he lost tragically after ten years of marriage and the birth of their two sons, Scott and Barry.  Bruce was blessed to have met and married Ellie, to whom he gladly devoted the next 42 years, and with whom he shared his daughter, Melanie, and his son, Christopher.  After the heartbreak of losing Ellie, divine intervention led Bruce to reconnect with his high school sweetheart, Shirley A. Schultz, at their 60th high school reunion.  Bruce enjoyed his remaining years alongside Shirley, who was his first love and his last love.

Bruce had the gift of making strangers his friends, and making those friends feel like family.   He kept committed in his annual birthday dinners with his daughter, niece and friends, and he was a faithful member of his breakfast club, the ROMEOS – Retired Old Men Eating Out.  Bruce could most often be found at Bonnet Shores Beach Club (especially on Saugy nights), Spain Restaurant, and in his own back yard, laughing and telling jokes in the middle of his favorite people.

Bruce was a family man.  He was a Dad, Daddio, Grampa, Ampa, and Great-Grandpa to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom called him their “hero” and their “rock.”  He was a dear Uncle Bruce, Boofus, and Boo Boo to his many nieces, nephews, and every person that he welcomed into his home, and into his life.

While Bruce will be certainly be remembered as the unofficial mayor of his beloved Narragansett, lighting up every room with his big personality and bigger smile, Bruce will best be remembered for his steadfast humor, humility, kindness, generosity, and decency.

Out of respect for COVID-19 safety, the family will be inviting Bruce’s loved ones to join them in a celebration of his life later this summer.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bruce’s name to the Wickford Art Association and Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse.  For guestbook and condolences,

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.