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Thursday, July 18, 2024





Martin Joseph Fernandi, of Cape May, NJ, cashed in his proverbial poker chips on June 15, 2024 and, in terms of what matters, came out way ahead. He was 85.
To nod to his musical hero Bob Dylan: “Ah, but he was so much older then.” Because, in the hearts and memories of the large family of which he was the patriarch, he will remain “forever young.”
Born January 9, 1939 in Paterson, NJ to Martin John Fernandi (1905-1988) and Mae Lambert (1908-1939), he was raised, after the untimely death of his mother, by his father's large Italian family in Paterson, and after his father remarried in 1944, by Elsie (Fleischer) Fernandi (1910-2004).
His father, who worked for the NJ Highway Department on projects including the Holland Tunnel, built a house on a sprawling property at 480 Alps Road in Wayne, NJ, and as a result, he attended Wayne High School, where he was so closely associated with his brainpower that he was nicknamed UNIVAC (a line of computers introduced in the 50s). He graduated in 1956 at 17, then went to Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, graduating in 1960 with a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. In 1966, he earned his master's degree, in Management, from Stevens as well, by taking night classes, having been by that time the father of three.
In 1962, he married Catherine (DeCarlo) Fernandi, with whom he had four children, Martin (1963), John (1964), Kelly (1965) and Melanie (1975). In 1984, he married Dolores (Carson) Fernandi, with whom he had a fifth child, Joseph (1986).
He began his professional career in 1960 at W.R. Grace, followed, in 1966, by Allied Chemical. His next position, at BorgWarner, moved the family to Parkersburg, WV in 1974; they returned to NJ, settling in Mahwah, in 1977, when he took on the position of Senior VP of Marketing at Ampacet Corp. in Tarrytown, NY.
Upon retiring in 1997 at 58, he moved, with Dolores and Joseph, to a golf course-adjacent house in Scottsdale, AZ, where he could stroke, drive and putt to his heart's content. His home state beckoned, however, and in 2009 he moved back east and settled in Cape May.
Besides golf, his lifelong passions included music (he took up the guitar in the 60s, having earlier played piano, and, before even that, violin), football, shooting, fishing, cars, dogs (animals in general, really), gambling and bourbon Manhattans.
In addition to his beloved wife Dolores and five children, he is survived by his daughter-in-law Bente (wife of Kelly), son-in-law Adam (husband of Melanie), future daughters-in-law Lisa (fiancée of John) and Madison (fiancée of Joseph) as well as five grandchildren, Katelyn (1993), Zachary (1995), Kelly Murphy (1996), Natalie (1997) and Lily (1999) and their spouses: Ryan (husband of Katelyn), Hannah (wife of Kelly Murphy) and Ethan (husband of Lily).
He leaves behind these words:

“To have educated children and
grandchildren is the best legacy.”

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