‘Butch’ or ‘Sarge’, 84, of Swansea, died at home surrounded by his loving family on Thursday July 14, 2022. He was the husband of Mary Alice C. (Marabello) Martineau.
Born in Tiverton, on the second floor of what later became known as the Guimond Farms store owned by his grandfather. He was the youngest of seven children of the late William and Aurore (Legault) Martineau.
He grew up in Fall River and attended St. Jean the Baptiste School, Henry Lord Junior High, and BMC Durfee High School before joining the military. He served in the Korean War as a deputy in Germany and often fondly recalled his time there. He met his future wife at Truesdale Hospital and they would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on August 17.
He worked in various industries, returning to school and attending Johnson and Wales University where he studied culinary arts, but his love of the army was too strong and he joined the army as a recruiter during over 20 years, achieving many milestones and awards. He was particularly proud of his work in local high schools and his discussions with students about their future careers. He retired from the Army Reserve as a Sergeant 1st Class.
A recipient of the ARCOM Award, Good Conduct Medal and an Overseas Ribbon, Butch went on to work as a police officer for the City of Fall River, Deputy Sheriff for the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office and Officer reserve in Swansea, all before retiring from the Swansea Police Association and the Sheriff’s Office. He had incredible energy and zest for life and after his second retirement he started his own courier business with his wife. He always had an idea for a new business and kept notebooks written with ideas to make the world a better place. His motto was “Find a need and fill it”.
Several moments in his life stand out, including his community service which began in his beloved town of Fall River by organizing bus trips for children to parks and beaches. He loved politics and worked for Rep. Margaret Heckler for many years. His interest in politics never waned and he followed local and national politics until his last days. He was part of the special security detail for Pope John’s visit to Boston and after that he was deeply devoted to him.
He was a true Renaissance man with many interests. He was fluent in French (his first language) and German. For many years he worked on the local wrestling circuit as a dynamic Mr. X working with his good friend Low Price Lenny. Together they held wrestling shows and he counted many professional wrestlers among his friends, including the late Professor Toru Tanaka. He wrote a wrestling and racing column for the Herald News and served as Chief Security Officer at Seekonk Speedway for several years. Later he had a weekly show on Swansea Cable Access where he interviewed people and talked about the issues of the day. Veterans and politics were two of his favorite subjects and he always shared his thoughts and opinions. If you met him, you would not forget him. He had a gregarious and generous spirit.
He loved many things but most of all his beloved wife and children, his lifelong faith, and his love of the military. He never stopped trying to find ways to help veterans. He belonged to many organizations during his life, including the VFW, AMVET and DAV. It was a life of service and he was the director of the Swansea Emergency Management Agency as well as serving on other committees. He had a heart of gold and would help anyone in need. A deeply religious man, he belonged to several churches, including St. Anne in Fall River and St. Francis of Assisi in Swansea. Even after going to Mass became difficult, he and his wife watched the daily Mass and said the Rosary. He was still praying. We are grateful for the Eucharistic ministers who brought him communion each week. It was his faith in God that carried him through the trials and tragedies of this life.
Besides his devoted wife, he is survived by seven children, Carol Gafford of Warren, Paula Ouellette and her husband Jeremiah of Dartmouth, Roland Martineau, Jr. and his girlfriend Lisa of Somerset, Steven Martineau of Fall River, Anthony “AJ” Martineau from Swansea, William Martineau and his wife Crystal from Fall River and Liza Perry and her husband Chris from Warren; thirteen grandchildren, Crystal, Lenny, Chelsea, Courtney, Megan, Tessa, Sabrina, Hunter, Amber, Trevor, Katie, Alexandre and Nathaniel; eight great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was the youngest of seven children and was predeceased by his sisters, Doris Gavigan Audette, Betty Heywood, Edna Dumas, Theresa Normandin, Germaine Wilkinson Ronco and brother Raymond Martineau, and son-in-law Sam Gafford.
To say he will be missed is an understatement. The world is much less without him. He will be remembered for his witty wisdom and words, handing out his business cards and inspirational pins to friends and strangers. We have no doubt that when he entered heaven, God was waiting with open arms declaring Bravo, good and faithful servant.
His funeral will take place and will be announced at a later date. Memorial contributions in Butch’s honor may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Rd., Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256 or to the Swansea Public Library, 69 Main St., Swansea, MA 02777. For tributes in online, please visit: www.waring-sullivan.com
Posted July 28, 2022
Posted in Somerset Spectator