JOSEPH PATRICK MARTINO
Joseph Patrick Martino, 83, of Kailua, Hawaii, passed away at Ann Pearl Care Home in Kaneohe on April 8, 2012. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 30, 1929. The second child of Italian immigrants Rocco Donato “Danny” Martino and Margherita Filomena Tierno from Roscigno Vecchia, Italy, Joe was a man of many talents. He trained as an airline mechanic in the U.S. Navy. A resident of Honolulu since shortly after statehood, he was a mechanic for United Airlines at Honolulu International Airport for decades. He loved this job, retiring as a chief mechanic.
Not one to sit still in retirement, Joe next became an enthusiastic “amateur oceanographer.” He was among the first to raise mahi mahi in captivity, by keeping the young mahi circulating constantly in round tanks he set up along the side of his house in Enchanted Lakes. Joe’s mahi mahi work caught the interest of aquaculturists. He trained them in what he had learned, furthering the scientific study of raising mahi mahi. Joe was highly regarded and respected for his many years of invaluable volunteer work for past Sea Life Park education programs. His talents and skills provided continuous support in promoting the stewardship of our oceans. He also spent some years as the live-in caretaker of Makai Pier, and enjoyed recounting how he sometimes loaned his tools and boat to the crew from Magnum P.I., when they filmed on the pier. His Siamese tilapia was proudly displayed at Sea Life Park and on local television. This fish, which lived for a few years in a tank in Joe’s living room, was later preserved and archived at the Bishop Museum.
Joe was proud of his Italian heritage, and had a great sense of humor about Italian stereotypes. When kids asked him if his Sons of Italy medallion was a Mafia medal, he told them it was. Before these foods were commonly available in Hawaii, he used his passes from United Airlines to fly back to New York and load suitcases with Italian sausages and cheeses, to bring back to the Islands. He hated to leave the Islands, but he had to have his Italian foods.
Joe was predeceased by his parents and by his older brother, Nicholas Martino. He is survived by his daughters, Gina Esposito of Kailua and Sandra Martino of San Francisco, and by his sister, Theresa Mayfield of Hicksville, New York. He also leaves behind a grandson, several nephews and a niece and many dear friends who became a part of his extended family. Condolences may be posted at http://of.net/joemartino.