On Thursday, May 6, 2021, Paul John Martein of Silver Spring, Maryland, passed away at age 86. Paul was born in Washington, D.C. on September 12, 1934, to Jane C. (Rowe) and Pierce B. Martein.
Paul was raised in a challenging neighborhood in the District of Columbia in the 1940s. Paul had a spirited youth and entered the Army after strong “encouragement” from a local judge, which he often credits with giving him direction. He proudly served two years in the Army during the Korean War conflict, and while overseas, wrote letters to his beloved Jeanne every day. They were engaged as soon as he was discharged and wed that same year, 1955. They remained devoted to each other until Jeanne’s passing ten years ago.
Together, Paul and Jeanne raised five children and were additionally blessed with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. “Pop” was born to be a grandfather and took every opportunity to support and encourage his grandchildren. He energetically taught them how to pitch, bat, catch and everything else you needed to know to excel at a variety of sports and activities. He and Jeanne cheered the kids on from the sidelines and thrilled them with long weekends at their beach home.
Paul worked as a pressman or in some capacity of the printing trade his entire career. But his real career, although unpaid, was as a volunteer firefighter at the Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department. Paul joined Berwyn Heights in 1960 in order to play on their baseball team. During the next 60 years, he was a firefighter, driver, EMT, treasurer and anything else that was needed. When he first started there, it wasn’t unusual to be putting on your boots or coat while going down the road, hanging on to the outside of the truck. He saw and assisted with many safety improvements over the years. Paul’s first love was his family but the BHVFD was a close second. He spent his entire adult life serving the needs of Station 14 and remained devoted and proud of the department’s expertise and professionalism.
Paul is survived by his children, Cathy Koerner (Steve), Nancy O’Donnell (Mell), Paul R. Martein (Jennifer), Bob Martein (Christine), and Carol O’Leary (Robert), along with 16 grandchildren, their spouses, and 15 great-grandchildren, with one on the way.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 11, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the Donaldson Funeral Home of Clarksville, P.A.. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, May 12, at 11:45 a.m. at St. Louis Catholic Church in Clarksville. Interment to follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Berwyn Heights Volunteer Fire Department.
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