The Honorable Baron H Martin 1926-2023
Judge Baron H Martin, loving husband, dedicated father and former Chief Justice of the 4th District Court in Wareham passed away peacefully on November 16 with his beloved wife Joan by his side. He was 97 years old.
Born in Boston, son of the late Baron H. and Margaret Jones Elliot Martin, he lived in Boston until 1972 moving to Wareham. Before becoming ill, he was living at the Bay Club in Mattapoisett.
Survivors include his wife, Joan (Kapolchok) Martin; his daughter Lauren B Martin of New York; his cousin who was like a son to him, Atty. Ralph Martin and his wife Dr. Deborah Martin of Jamaica Plain and their sons Scott and Sam, and daughter Christine (husband Michael Moverman and daughter Simona.)
There is no question that Judge Martin was a brilliant lawyer and Judge. He would have young lawyers, trying a case before him, scurrying back to the law library looking up cases because the ones they were using were no longer applicable.
Judge Martin never forgot his mentors who shaped his life from working as a baggage handler at South Station to becoming the esteemed Chief Justice of the Wareham District Court. They gave him the opportunity to attend Suffolk University Law School while working at the MTA (MBTA) as a clerk. He later became the General Counsel and years later was appointed to the Board of Directors.
He was personal friends with Martin Luther King, while attending Boston University. They belonged to the same fraternity, Boston University's Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. In 1952, he introduced Martin to Coretta.
Baron was very active in politics in the 60's being chair of Ward 12 in Roxbury. He was invited by President Kennedy to participate in the National Conference on Constitutional Rights in New York in 1960. He was greatly influenced by Robert F Kennedy while working on his campaign in 1968. He often quoted Robert F Kennedy as saying that those of us who have something have an obligation to help others. Judge Martin was with Robert Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel on June 5, 1968 when he was shot. He lived by this motto until the day he died.
He was inducted as Special Justice of the Roxbury Court in 1974 by Governor Francis Sargent and to the Wareham District Court in 1977 by Governor Edward King. He was named Associate Justice of the Appellate Division by Chief Justice Samuel Zoll in 1990.
There are countless stories of people that he helped when their lives were falling apart and they were standing before him in the court. He would help them see their value and a better way but they had to put in the work. He was a mentor to young law students, new judges, administrators and court personnel. And even after he retired, he continued, working on a team to bring the University of Massachusetts Law School (Southern New England Law School) to Dartmouth. Giving back is what Judge Martin did be it law students, the kid next door, or a caregiver.
This is his Legacy. His mentors would be proud.
His visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, November 28th from 4-8pm in the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd. (Rt.6), Mattapoisett. His Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, November 29th at 11:00 am in the funeral Home. For directions and guest book, visit www.saundersdwyer.com.