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Harrison Musician, Teacher, Martin Dies at 65

MAMARONECK, N.Y. – Terence R. Martin, a prolific musician, published poet and longtime Mamaroneck teacher, died Nov. 7 after a three-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 65.

Martin, a resident of Harrison, taught literature, language arts, and philosophy to sixth, 10th and 12th grade students at the Mamaroneck campus of the French-American School of New York for the last 17 years. Upon being diagnosed with the inoperable condition of his disease, he was said to be almost more distraught over his inability to teach this school year.

Recently, the Watercolor Cafe in Larchmont hosted a three-night tribute to Martin's career in music, following a similar tribute in Katonah. His sixth and final album, "Field Recordings," was made during Martin's last eight weeks.

Born on July 21, 1946 in London, Martin was the only son of the late Glen Martin and Catherine Amelia Rogers Martin. His family moved to the U.S. in 1952 after his father accepted a position at Lockheed-Martin in Los Angeles. Martin graduated from Notre Dame High School and attended college briefly before deciding to pursue a career in music.

In 1970, Martin was drafted into the Army, where he served as an ambulance driver and medic in Germany. In his few moments of free time, he wrote poetry and practiced the guitar until his honorable discharge in Oct. 1972.

On the G.I. Bill, he returned to college as a music major at the age of 27 but ended up falling in love with studying English. Martin then earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in English at California State University at Northridge, solidifying his belief that "one should wait to commit to attending college until one is truly ready to be diligent about learning."

He taught at several schools in California before moving to New England, and eventually Larchmont and Harrison, to escape the earthquakes of California. In Sept. 1994, he began his teaching career in Mamaroneck where one parent told him that it would be difficult to underestimate the importance of his influence at the school."

Martin is survived by his wife Amy Berkson-Martin, his stepchildren Hallie Rose and Asher Chase Berkson-Gold, his half-sister Michelle Martin-Maffucci, an aunt and uncle and several cousins.

A wake was held on Saturday at John J. Fox Funeral Home in Larchmont. The funeral service, entitled “A Celebration of the Life of Terence Martin,” will be held Monday at 12 p.m. at Community Unitarian Church in White Plains. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the VNA of Hudson Valley's Hospice , 540 White Plains Road, Suite 300, Tarrytown, N.Y. 10591, or the Cancer Support Team , 875 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 204, Mamaroneck, N.Y. 10543.

The family is working toward creating a program or learning space in Martin's honor. Memorial donations made to the French-American School of New York will be earmarked for those future projects.

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