After a valiant battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Martin Charles Unfried passed away peacefully at home with his family at his side on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. Martin was born on May 1, 1934, in East Orange, NJ to the late Henrietta (Wood) and Martin C. Unfried. Raised in Caldwell, NJ, Martin attended Grover Cleveland High School and graduated with the Class of 1952. He proudly served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1952-1956. Part of his duty was served aboard the USCG Cutter COURIER stationed in Rhodes, Greece, assigned to the AC Generator Room. As a floating transmitter ship, the COURIER broadcasted as the Voice of America, transmitting radio programs of hope and freedom to citizens in nations behind the Iron Curtain from 1952-1964. During leave while stationed on Rhodes, Martin and a Coastie buddy traveled through Europe on a T-110 Triumph motorcycle, covering some 5,000 miles in 28 days. Retiring from the USCG as an Engineman Second Class in 1955, Martin attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, obtaining a BA in Economics in 1961. After graduation, Martin worked as a Senior Credit Analyst for several retail department stores, gained a certification in computer programming from the Chubb Institute and, after many years of faithful employment, ultimately retired from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s main Manhattan campus in 1996 as Senior Statistician.
Martin met his sweetheart, Janice Ann High on a blind date in 1957. They married in August of 1959, were blessed with a daughter, Ellen, in 1961, a son Martin C. Unfried III (Chuck) in 1965 and enjoyed a wonderful married life for many years on Laurel Place in West Caldwell. Martin was able to fix anything mechanical from lawn mowers to hair dryers; his workbench usually had an item or two awaiting his attention following his commute back home, 12 hours after he left each weekday morning. Following his retirement, Martin & Janice moved full time to their newly built modular home on property owned by his family since 1949 on White Ave. in their beloved Lavallette. Martin enjoyed tooling around town in Ruby, his 1962 VW Beetle, lovingly restored by his son Chuck. On any given day, Martin could be found at Lavallette Yacht Club helping to maintain the building and grounds, the Club’s fleet of power vessels, as well as keeping track of member vessel storage locations, membership billing—he served in whatever capacity was needed as an active LYC member and outstanding volunteer. Marty especially enjoyed promoting the maintenance and use of the LYC Duck Boats, which were sailed by junior sailors. Other retirement projects included serving as a trustee at the Toms River Seaport Museum, as a Director at the NJ Museum of Boating in Pt. Pleasant and as Vice President of the USCGC COURIER Association.
Although he worked hard, Martin embraced time away from work with his family in the backyard, at the beach and on Barnegat Bay in the three power vessels he owned over the years named BOAT, BOAT II and MARJAN. “Poppy” always loved playing right alongside his grandchildren, Tommy and Shannon, as they grew and faithfully attended as many of their sporting and school events his busy schedule would allow. Most recently, Poppy Marty relished trading smiles and playing Peekaboo with his great-grandson, Jackson. Martin’s loyalty, intelligence, wry humor and positive can-do attitude will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate to know him, but most especially by his family.
Martin is survived by his devoted wife of 62 years, Janice (High) Unfried; his daughter, Ellen and son-in-law, George; his son, Martin C. Unfried III; grandson, Tom O’Brien and his wife, Tori (Sickles); granddaughter, Shannon (O’Brien) Draper and her husband, Jim; his great-grandson, Jackson Sickles O’Brien; his step-grands: Erik & Amanda Anderson, Brian & Beth Anderson, Andrew & Meghan Anderson, Kristin & Julian Dona and their families; his sister, Sally U. Liddie; his sisters-in-law, Edna Martin and Beverly D’Aprix, and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals (706 NJ-35, Lavallette, NJ 08735) from 2-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17; service at the funeral home at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18. Interment will be private.
Online condolences may be offered through www.ryanfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Lavallette First Aid Squad (www.lavallette.org, P.O. Box 334, Lavallette, NJ 08735) or the NJ Museum of Boating (www.njmb.org, 1800 Bay Ave., Pt. Pleasant, NJ 08742).