John H. Martinson will forever be recalled as a brave, stern leader, a decorated police officer, a devoted father, a mechanical whiz who was rebuilding his grandfather’s house, and an expert cook who blessed family gatherings with homemade carrot cake, stuffed mushrooms and baked clams.
John grew up in the Eltingville section of Staten Island. In 1989, at the age of 22, he joined NYPD and received an Excellent Police Duty medal for subduing a knife-wielding suspect.
Following in his father’s footsteps, in 1993 John became a member of the FDNY. He worked with Engine 204 in Brooklyn and Engine 80 in Harlem. In 1996, along with his company, he received a unit citation. In 2002, he was promoted to lieutenant.
In 2004, John married Jessica, his “Sweetie Pie.”
In March 2006, two things changed the course of John’s life. His son was born, and he was assigned to Engine 249 in Brooklyn. The birth of John Patrick brought out the best in him. John Patrick was his pride and joy, and he was always in his arms. Regrettably, he never got to enjoy his daughter, Katherine Grace, who was sure to have John wrapped around her finger.
Being assigned with the Rats of Engine 249 was a source of pride for John. He was a mentor to the younger firefighters and a voice of reason at fires and emergencies. He was becoming the boss a firefighter father wants his firefighter son to be.
John lost his life protecting life and property while fighting a high-rise apartment fire on January 3, 2008, in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field
His memory will live in us forever!