Remembering the Extraordinary Life of Dr. Rocco Martino
How many people have you known who lived past the age of 90? My grandmother and both of her sisters, lifelong Marylanders, surpassed 90 years old. My grandmother, the eldest, passed away just two months shy of her 91st birthday. The middle daughter, my great-aunt Doris, just celebrated her 100th birthday in June. And the baby of the family, my great-aunt Ruth, is approaching her 97th birthday.
I spend a lot of time marveling over the longevity of these women (and praying I inherited their good genes!). I also realize how rich their life experiences have been, and how little I know of them. I’d heard stories about their father’s general store and about the horse and wagon that picked up the three sisters to take them to elementary school. But I only recently learned that Aunt Ruth had been in love with a boy who died as a soldier in World War II, for example.
Nonagenarians, the technical term for people who live past 90, have tripled in population, according to the last U.S. Census. By the year 2050, people over 90 are expected to make up 10 percent of the older population. Each one of these people who has spent nine decades on this earth has a unique set of experiences and accomplishments. Often, their achievements can’t be fully appreciated until after the person passes away and an obituary is put forth.
This week our parent company, Chesapeake Bay Media, is mourning a man whose remarkable achievements couldn’t possibly fit into an obituary.
Dr. Rocco Martino, CBM’s CFO, who served as chief financial officer for the company that produces Chesapeake Bay Magazine, Bay Bulletin, and Bay Weekly, passed away Monday at 91 years old.
Martino, an inventor and tech industry pioneer and father of CBM CEO John Martino, died peacefully at his home in Villanova, Pa. surrounded by his family.
Rocco Martino, born in Canada to Italian immigrants, earned a Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Toronto and his 1956 doctoral work in heat calculations for the re-entry of space vehicles later made manned space missions possible. He contributed to major advances in computer systems and his software company XRT, Inc. automated financial, business, and medical systems for so many industries that by the mid-1990s, about three trillion dollars per day were processed through XRT’s systems. Then, Dr. Martino developed a precursor to the smartphone, securing patents a full decade before the iPhone was introduced.
The Martino family says Rocco was a latecomer to sailing, but embraced the sport fully, becoming Commodore of the Yacht Club of Sea Isle City near the family’s summer home, as well as Commodore of the South Jersey Yacht Racing Association, both in the 1970s.
Dr. Martino was a founding partner of Chesapeake Bay Media in 2014, the newly-formed company that bought Dick Royer’s Chesapeake Bay Magazine upon his retirement. Dr. Martino brought a lifetime of international business expertise to CBM as it expanded from one magazine to a multi-channel media company and custom publisher.
Bay Weekly joins the entire Chesapeake Bay Media team in remembering Dr. Martino for his contributions to science and technology as well as laying the groundwork for the Chesapeake community newspaper we are proud to bring you today.