Kenneth Paul Martin, Jr.

May 14, 1952 - July 20, 2019

Kenneth Paul Martin, Jr., 67, a resident of Somerville, MA for the past fifteen years, formerly of Everett, MA passed away Saturday, July 20, 2019 in Cape Coral, FL. He was born May 14, 1952 in Everett, MA to the proud Kenneth Paul and Beatrice Martin, Sr., now deceased.

Kenneth Martin was a local resident of Massachusetts who dedicated his life to worker safety. Kenneth started his career on construction sites, which led him to pursue a career improving identifying hazards and proposing solutions for workers. He graduated from the Harvard School of Public Health and became a Certified Industrial Hygienist. Kenneth worked at MIT and Harvard, where he continued as a lecturer in the field of industrial hygiene for the remainder of his career. Kenneth was also involved at Bunker Hill Community College and the Van Loan School of Professional Studies where he delighted in teaching statistics to adult learners.

Kenneth’s passion for worker safety lead him to develop radiation safety training for Niton, and ThermoFisher Scientific. He held US patents in radiation shields for portable x-ray fluorescence instruments and was a published author. A steady, calm and creative problem solver, he became one of the founding members of Viken Detection. He loved his co-workers, and enjoyed being part of a highly skilled, yet sarcastic, team of professionals. He could be found working late at night, walking to Dunkin Donuts with colleagues and at Monday staff meetings; otherwise, he was hard to pin down.

Kenneth downplayed his accomplishments, and always tried to build up those around him. He was kind, soft-spoken, handsome, and prone to mumbling when he was very comfortable. He was known to pick up the tab, and give away cash to folks who were struggling. Kenneth Martin could often be found at the MIT Flea market on the third Sunday of the month in Cambridge with his very unique sense of fashion.

Kenneth Martin will be remembered for teaching his second wife how to love unconditionally, for which she is forever grateful. He will also be remembered as loving his two children, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.  He was exceptionally proud of his family’s ability to be nice – which he thought was one of the highest and most difficult achievements. Kenneth will also be remembered for taking his scientific skills into the kitchen, where he perfected the French macron. He was a calm delight who is missed and celebrated by many; including the guy who specialized in taking pictures of raptors across the street.  

Kenneth Martin is survived by his beloved wife who he met in 1996, Dr. Laura Douglass of Somerville, MA; His sons Kenneth Paul Martin III, Seth Rohan Martin; daughter in-law Michele Martin and beautiful grandchildren Justin Cassar and Jason Martin. He loved Jimmy Failla, Jim Blute, and Bree Allen. He was particularly fond of his pitbull, Falcor Shanti. He left behind a garage full of gadgets, saws, tools, mysterious technical items and the largest book collection on lead in the country. If he was going to give you advice now, he would say don’t spend so much time thinking about material things.

Kenneth Paul Martin did not want any services. He asked you acknowledge him by sitting near a convenient body of water, kiss a dog and have a beverage of your choice.

Memorial Contributions in memory of Kenneth Paul Martin, Jr. are suggested to be given to someone near you in need, or leave an extra-large tip for a waiter or waitress.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Vicki Grzybinsli Jun 27, 2020 at 6:23 pm

    Ken was loved and admired by many. He was the kindest sweetness person I have ever known. I think if him and Laura often and we all miss his wit and humor.. he was always thinking of new ideas or how to fix problems

  2. Sylvia Jun 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Such a wonderful and authentic tribute. It made me feel like I knew him. Thank you

  3. Mark A Towner Jun 27, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    Beautiful and inspiring obituary Laura!

  4. Meg Dent Jun 28, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Ken was the best neighbor. He always let you borrow tools and never asked for them back.
    He was big and gentle like a manatee. I literally never heard him raise his voice once. He was Hero (my mastiff)’s spirit-twin, and I like to think that they are together now ♥️♥️♥️.
    We miss them. And his family misses him terribly, but we’re trying to keep an eye on them for him ♥️

  5. Anne Taylor Jun 28, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    I feel blessed that I was able to spend time with Ken and to be privy to his unique wit . He was an original. Sending love to his family. Anne Taylor

  6. Laura Douglass Aug 16, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Ken was my very best friend. I will always love him and always be grateful for him. I miss him. He was patient, kind, incredibly smart, funny and didn’t need to talk that much to feel connected. He took leaps of faith in love. I appreciate that.

    He always built me up. He gave great advice. He saw the very best in me and taught me to reach for my goals – personal and professional. He always had my back. I could depend on him. He trusted me completely.

    I feel extraordinarily lucky to have been his wife.

  7. Tony Ogunsanya Jan 11, 2021 at 9:38 am

    I am a recipient of just about every good thing mentioned here about Ken, I interviewed with him in 1993 at MIT. I told him at the time that I could do a lot more than the job for which I was interviewing. After mumbling for a minute or so, he said he would give me the opportunity to prove it.

    He became my mentor ever since. He encouraged me to go for my masters degree in industrial hygiene, had me take in my first semester, the toughest courses the program offered. Encouraged and recommended me for the certified industrial hygienist examination and recommended me for his position on his way out of MIT. Even after he left MIT, he sent several consulting opportunities my way. I remember receiving all sorts of tools and a piece of petrified tree from him for Xmas. I was trying to reach him for an advice when I came across this website. I hope to have the opportunity to impact others as he impacted me. May his soul rest in peace.

  8. Glen Harnish Jul 15, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    Ken was a person I mostly felt rather than heard. One of my most interesting encounters with him was in the Fells in Winchester. It was dusk. I saw his dog Falcor way before I saw him. Ken was kind of standing a little back, like a tree. Once I realized he was there we had a pretty good conversation. I don’t remember what we talked about but I remember the way I felt. I was glad to be in Ken’s presence. He is missed.

  9. Greg and Virginia Douglass Jul 15, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    Ken was the finest son-in-law we could have hoped for. He is and will be missed by us f.or his great kindness and sense of humor

  10. Larry Douglass Jul 16, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    I remember Ken as a wonderful and highly intelligent person. He was generous and had a rare sense of fairness about him. He is greatly missed. And will be remembered fondly.

  11. Glenn Jul 17, 2021 at 8:57 am

    I will always remember his generous spirit.

  12. Jimmy Failla Jul 18, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    Hey Ken,

    I wanna thank you for everything you have done for me and countless others. It’s really a strange thing; it still seems you are with me everyday, especially when I get to work! I’ve never missed anyone more in my life. If it were not for you, I have no idea where I would be. I love you very much and I miss you every single day. Rest easy my good friend. I’ll check in with you when the kick the next NFL season off, cousin (sorry, Laura, Lol, We are addicts!). Love you.


  13. Jim Blute Jul 24, 2021 at 8:28 am

    The universe comes up with the plan
    To gather up atoms and call them a man
    And many are worthy for toast now and then
    But I will not meet another like Ken

    What was he like? Tell me what is the essence?
    Like warm summer sun I felt good in his presence.

    How can I feel this now and again?

    Take the time for a slow walk with a good friend.
    Eat ice cream for lunch again and again.
    Answer each question with wit all the while,
    deliver some part with only your smile.
    Let someone carry the weight that you got,
    or carry some weight so that others may not.
    Be selfless and kind, gentle and sweet…
    and head off to work without socks on your feet.

  14. Libby Mar 31, 2022 at 6:19 pm

    When I think of Ken I see him lighting fireworks for Diwali- so it’s with the flicker of fire illuminating his face as we stood back in awe of the various displays that he had found somewhere in the world. Those displays provided multiple layers of delight to kids and adults alike. I also think of all his various projects around the house. The hot tub, the shed out back, the community garden, various wall colors and shelves in the attic- there was always a project brewing, and plenty of interesting gadgets and parts around. He offered a quiet always amused presence which warms my heart to remember. I also think of him loving the tv! Sitting on the leather chairs in the living room watching the craziest shows…. I smile to remember the Ken stories laura shared with me, what he was up to, his quirky, funny, extremely bright and interesting way of being in the world. His loving presence was a gift to everyone who knew him.

  15. Fiona LaRosa-Waters Apr 1, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    I cannot think of a more perfect tribute to Ken than this, for all his loved ones to read periodically and smile thinking about his mumbling and generous self. Ken also made my friend Laura so unbelievably happy, and to know them as a couple was one of the most wonderful things to experience. We all miss Ken a whole lot, and I’ll think of him every time I see fruit art.

  16. Steven McClure Apr 2, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    To me Ken was always available and willing to help suss out the best in people and ideas. He had a really joyful intimidating ease about him and I will always appreciate that. It was fun to show him art as he had a great eye and saw through artistic pretension and cliche, his interest being in the expression.: the how/ the what / and the why.. He was very encouraging, be bold.

  17. Kristen & Lance Reed Apr 2, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    The first time we met Ken was when Laura and I were both about 8 months pregnant. He was helping Laura demonstrate yoga poses at the partner’s prenatal yoga class she was teaching. Ken was inspiring. If Ken could do it, anyone could do it–and remembering Ken’s face as Laura explained the next pose always makes us laugh.

    If we needed a tool or to know how something could be fixed, Ken could help. Ken, Laura, and Seth came up to the beach one weekend and Ken happily spent the afternoon helping Lance fix the boat in the basement. This photo is from one of Brendan’s birthday parties at the beach.

  18. Cat and Allan Apr 2, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to Ken! I’ll never forget the first time I met Ken at Laura’s yoga studio. I had just had my first class with Laura when Ken walked in. Being a quiet person, he didn’t say anything but just sat in the floor. He didn’t seem like the typical yoga student and I wondered if he were a complete stranger trying to pick Laura up! I was soon really happy to learn he was much more!

    I was immediately impressed by Ken’s devotion to Laura and his incredible generosity at the yoga studio. He helped furnish it and often attended classes though he didn’t always participate fully! He was a smart, wise and gentle person and a beautiful accepting friend. As an artist, I was always impressed by his visual acuity and love for beautiful things. He had great taste and was a wonderful collector of art too. I treasure his encouragement and insights.

    I love too how he made the Diwali celebrations so special for the kids and we adults too.

    I feel Ken’s beautiful spirit is with us urging us to be happy and fully engaged in and enjoying life as he did. And to be nice as he surely was. Ken, we love and miss you.

  19. Steve and Steve Apr 4, 2022 at 9:01 am

    Ken was a neighbor and friend of ours here in Somerville for the past 15 years or so. A real neighbor, I would watch him snow plow the sidewalks of many of his neighbors (making me wish we lived on that side of the street). Not only could you count on Ken’s wisdom to problem solve a repair, he may even come up with a part that he either had or fabricated for you. It was so evident that he was a natural engineer, but it was even more evident that he was a natural at being a truly great man. We love him. We miss him. Without him our street is a lesser place; however each of us is also more for having known him.

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