Dr. Rufus Russell Martin Jr. of Madison, age 78, husband of Mary Ann Martin for 53 years, passed away peacefully on April 10, 2014 with family by his side. He lived a long and full life, was beloved by his family and friends, and enjoyed volunteering in the Madison community.
Russ was born on March 3, 1936 in Atlanta, GA to Rufus Russell Martin and his wife Grace Moody Martin. He shone brightly from a young age and entered Yale University at 16, graduating in 1956. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Georgia in 1960. He married Mary Ann Iannotti in Providence, Rhode Island in 1961. He was stationed at Bangor, Maine, where he served as a Captain in the US Air Force. Russ and Mary Ann then moved to Augusta, GA for him to complete his residency specializing in internal medicine and infectious diseases.
From there it was on to Indianapolis, where Russ served as associate professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine. They next moved to Houston, where he was a tenured professor at the Baylor College of Medicine and an adjunct professor at Rice University. In addition to publishing many scientific research papers in peer-reviewed journals, Russ conducted scientific experiments with NASA and the Apollo-Soyuz space mission.
In 1983, Russ began work in the private sector, as a director and vice president at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and later Hybridon. At Bristol-Myers he pioneered ground-breaking research in AIDS therapies, developing drugs which are still used today to treat HIV. Russ was a member of numerous national medical organizations.
Russ spent many hours giving back to the community, serving as president of The Madison Lion's Club and volunteering with Madison Community Services. He was a parishioner at St. Margaret Roman Catholic Church, a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Men Over 60 Club, and the Keyart's Klamberers Hiking Club.
Russ is survived by his wife Mary Ann; his children Karen Martin Hawes and her husband Arthur, Rufus Russell III and his wife Susan Kirr, and John and his wife Kelli; grandchildren Will, Mary Katherine and Julia Hawes, and brother Joseph Martin and his wife Helen, and brother- and sister-in-law Harry and Judy Iannotti.
Funeral services will be held on Monday April 14 at 10 a.m. at St. Margaret Roman Catholic Church in Madison. The burial will be at West Cemetery in Madison followed by a reception at the Madison Beach Hotel.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Madison Lions Club, PO Box 99, Madison CT 06443.