boston.com News your connection to The Boston Globe

Stuart Martin, teacher, cofounder of TV station

JERICHO, Vt. -- Stuart T. Martin Jr., one of the founders of WCAX-TV, Vermont's largest and oldest television station, died Saturday at his home in Jericho after a short illness. He was 91.

Dr. Martin, known as Red, had been with the station since before it began operations, working with his stepfather, Charles P. Hasbrook, to get the station on the air in 1954.

''He was the man who brought television to Vermont," said Marselis Parsons, WCAX's news director, who has worked at the station since 1967.

Dr. Martin was president of Mount Mansfield Television Inc., which owns the CBS affiliate, an unusual arrangement in today's media world because the station has remained family-owned since its start and has maintained a constant and strong commitment to local news.

Peter Martin said his father had still been driving himself to the office as recently as three weeks ago.

Dr. Martin kept a low profile and shunned awards and publicity but had a large impact in the community, through his work with area nonprofits. He was a past chairman the Burlington-Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce and the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont and was a generous supporter of many organizations, including the visiting nurses association.

He also served for more than 40 years as a member of the CBS Television Affiliates Advisory Board and was its chairman in 1967.

The exception to Dr. Martin's low-profile approach were on-air commentaries he delivered during the station's hour-long evening news. The commentaries, which ended in the 1970s, reflected his conservative political philosophy.

He was a major donor to the Republican Party

Born in Brooklyn, Dr. Martin studied physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Duke University, graduating from MIT in 1934 and earning his doctorate in science in 1938.

He taught physics at Clark University in Worcester and worked as a research scientist at RCA Labs in New Jersey.

Dr. Martin served during World War II in the Signal Corps. Following the war, he returned to MIT, where he taught electrical engineering and did research on various aspects of radar. He then became chief engineer of Sylvania's electronics division.

In 1951, he returned to radar research and development as a consulting engineer with EG&G of Boston.

In 1954, he moved with his family to Burlington to start WCAX-TV with his stepfather.

In addition to his son, Dr. Martin leaves a daughter, Marcia Boyer of Barnard; two other sons, Donald of Essex and James of Greensborough, N.H.; five grandchildren and three great-grand children. His wife, Dorothy Webster Martin, died in 1985.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday at St. Paul's Cathedral in Burlington.

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES
 
Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives