Martin Thomas Durkin
Martin Thomas Durkin, Sr. of Lexington, Kentucky, formerly of Ridgefield Park, NJ passed away on October 17, 2019 at the age of 88. He is predeceased by his loving wife, Jane (nee Anthony), and siblings, Frances Glackin and William Durkin. Beloved brother of Kathleen Aherns of Hackettstown, NJ, and beloved father of Ruth (Russ) Mallett of Dover, MA; Jane (Terry) Samuel of Lexington, KY; Martin (Amy) Durkin of Syracuse, NY. Adored grandfather of Katherine Mallett (Carl) Zimmerman, Russell and Andrew Mallett, Elizabeth (Jesse) Matherly, Kathleen and Emma Samuel, Thomas and Emily Durkin. He is also survived by numerous nephews and nieces who he fondly remembered in stories during his later years. Martin had a keen mind for the law and a passion for what was right. With this passion he built a distinguished career as a NJ attorney and was the recipient of the NJ Bar Associationís Fred G. Stickel Memorial Award for his contributions in the area of municipal law. In keeping with his desire for protecting the rights of municipal entities and the residents they serve, Martin was counsel of record in numerous cases on behalf of Ridgefield Park and nearby municipalities in his 50+ year career. Most notably, Martin (along with co-counsel from Teaneck) successfully enjoined Bergen County from allowing the county to operate a landfill on land that had been donated by Ridgefield Park and Teaneck for use as a park. This land now comprises Overpeck County Park, regarded as one of the top ten parks in NJ. Ever a lover of the land, Martin was an active member of the Shade Tree Commission as well as an avid gardener. When not in the yard, he could be found pouring over gardening books or the Farmerís Almanac. His love of flowers grew out of his work in college at the Hautau Farm greenhouses that graced Bergenfield in the 1950ís. Though Martin continued to work until age 79, he could be enticed away by Jane to relax at Lake George, NY a spot they both dearly loved, or travel in the US and abroad. He especially enjoyed visiting all his grandchildren and was proud of each of them. A man of strong faith and ethics, he was a graduate of St. Ceciliaís High School in Englewood, St. Peterís College and NYU Law School. Over his life he was on several local boards and committees and believed strongly in service. In his later years he enjoyed sharing stories with his grandchildren and caregivers regarding his education and his childhood, including how he played at Cooperís Pond with his brother, watched over his baby sister, relied on his oldest sisterís literary guidance to gain admission to law school, worked summers as a postal employee, and encountered future Supreme Court Justice Brennan on his train ride to work for the NJ Attorney General. Quiet and ever humble, grateful and supportive, Martin will be dearly missed by his family, friends (including the Sunday Communion Service at The Lafayette), as well as the many caregivers including those of Bluegrass Extra Care and Care Navigators (Hospice), The Lafayette, Lexington Country Place and Diversified Nurse Consultants (Tish Platt, RN and Penny Matthews, SRNA, CMA). Visitation November 8th, 4-7pm at Vorhees-Ingwersen Funeral Home, 59 Main Street, Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660. Funeral mass November 9th at 11am at St. Francis RC Church, Ridgefield Park, NJ, followed by burial at Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Tenafly, NJ. Funeral mass and burial at a later date in NJ. If you feel so moved, donations may be made to Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Church, 601 Hill & Dale Dr, Lexington, KY 40503 or Bluegrass Hospice Care.