Martin B. Courneen, age 89, of Wethersfield, husband for 60 years of Marjorie G. Courneen, succumbed to heart failure on July 2, 2018. Marty was born on November 6, 1928 to the late Martin B. and Jane (Foley) Courneen in Springfield, Massachusetts. Marty was one of the most gregarious and friendly people one could ever meet, and a true gentleman.
He graduated from Bulkeley High School in 1946 and proceeded to enter the U.S. Army from 1946 until 1948. After the Army, he furthered his education at the University of Connecticut, and graduated with a BS Degree in Civil Engineering in 1952. Marty married Marjorie Gustafson on September 1, 1951. They shared a wonderful life together which included numerous trips and rounds of golf. Marty was a polished salesman, utilizing his engineering knowledge to sell construction equipment for Rowen Leahy and H.O. Penn to municipalities and towns. He was involved in many major highway projects and pipeline installations. Marty was also actively involved in his community, church, and other organizations. He was a founding member of the Newington Jaycees and was the president in 1965. His first major project with the Jaycees was the building of a pavilion for handicapped children at Mill Pond Park in Newington. He was a member of the Church of the Incarnation parish since 1965, and served as a greeter and collector from 1988 to 2014. From 1970 until 1991 he was a member of the Wethersfield Planning and Zoning Commission and served as its chairperson. Marty loved the game of golf and was a member of Wethersfield Country Club since 1966, and served as the Membership Chairman for 8 years. Highlights of his golf career include a 1982 hole in one on the 3rd hole of Wethersfield Country Club, and winning the WCC 1980 Father-Son Championship by sinking the winning putt on the last hole of an 18th hole playoff with his son, Jim. Marty was also actively involved in the Metropolitan District. He was both a Commissioner and Citizen member beginning in 1975, and in 2007 he was honored to be elected into the MDC’s 25 Year Club. During his tenure with the MDC he served as chairman of the Bureau of Public Works and on the Board of Finance. After recovering from heart surgery in May 2002, Marty began volunteering at Hartford Hospital visiting new patients. He was passionate about this work and proudly received the 2000-hour award in December of 2013. Marty was a lifetime member of the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers, a Mystic Seaport member since 1973, and served on the Connecticut Medical Examining Board from 2007 to 2010. He was a busy man, who according to him, always wanted to be a fisherman but was not patient enough. Marty took great pride in his caring for his home and lawn, always keeping it neat. He was very proud of his family, especially Marge, and taught his children to “treat people as you wish to be treated.” Marty loved his family, his home, golf, winters in Jupiter, Florida, and the MDC. He was admired by many and had a special admiration for Father Thomas Campion and Coach Dee Rowe. He gave so much of his time and himself to others, and will be remembered for his smile, and gift of gab.
Marty will be greatly missed by his loving family; his four children James M. Courneen of Newington, Linda C. Cowles of Newington, Diane M. Marrero and her husband Angel Luis Marrero of Windsor, and Sharon J. Courneen and Christopher Dent of Wethersfield. He also leaves behind his eight cherished grandchildren; Jason Courneen and his wife Alexis Courneen, Julie (Cowles) Myers and her husband Nick Myers, Shannon Cowles, Jeffrey Courneen, Lindsay (Cowles) Steller and her husband Adam Steller, Jaclyn Courneen, Austin Courneen Bovino, and Nicholas Marrero as well as his six great grandchildren whom he adored; Brynna Courneen, Riley Courneen, Mason Myers, Mason Courneen, Zachary Myers, and Christian Steller. Marty is also survived by his brother Lt. Colonel (Retired) Robert E. Courneen, his favorite sister in-law Linda Gustafson, his brother in-law Richard Gustafson and Spencer Means, his cousins Eleanor and Dick Nuffort, Bill Foley Jr. and Pat Foley, and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his loving wife, Marge, Marty was predeceased by his sister Mary Strong, his brother in-law Dr. William Gustafson, and an infant son.
Family and friends may gather together on Monday July 9, 2018 from 4 – 7 pm at Farley Sullivan on 34 Beaver Road, Wethersfield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Church of the Incarnation, 544 Prospect Street, Wethersfield, on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 10am. Attendees are asked to go directly to the church. Interment will be in Cedar Hill Cemetery, 453 Fairfield Ave. Hartford. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Martin’s name to Hartford Hospital 80 Seymour Street Hartford, CT 06102; Church of the Incarnation 544 Prospect Street Wethersfield, CT 06109, or The American Heart Association. To extend online condolences or for further information please visit farleysullivan.com.