James S. Martin

Actually, Jim didn’t want this, but his wife, Ann, and the rest of the family thought otherwise. So here we are. A resident of the Greenwich-Stamford area since 1962, Jim passed away at the age of 85 at Yale New Haven Hospital on July 12. His life was one of being true to himself, and to all those who knew or worked with him.

Jim received his BS from Yale and his MBA from Columbia. His professional life started at Chase Bank where he was an investment portfolio strategist. He left Chase in 1974 and spent the rest of his career at TIAA-CREF, from which he retired as Executive Vice-President and Chair of the CREF Finance Committee in 1995. In that capacity, he managed one of the most significant equity funds in the United States at the time.

A 1988 New York Times Magazine article described Jim as having a “cherubic face and guardsman’s mustache,” and resembling “a British Army major out of central casting.” He was well known for doodling during the endless business meetings; staff members enjoyed rescuing his gems from the trash for posterity.

After retiring, Jim enjoyed adventurous travels across the globe, always with Ann at his side. He also faithfully did the New York Times crossword puzzles (in ink) every day to the end. Jim was a voracious reader. He had a particular fascination for Winston Churchill, about whom he read every book ever published, usually more than once. P.G. Wodehouse was his go-to for relaxation. He also dabbled in art and sculpture, and was endlessly fascinated by the techniques in any medium.

Although Jim was a man of many accomplishments, the most important thing in his life was his family. He and Ann married in 1961 and had the joy of celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on February 11, 2021. Together they had two sons, Jim and Larry, who brought even greater joy into their lives in the form of their four grandchildren, Sarah, John, Ellie and Shayna.

Jim was a kind and giving man. He was known to the children of close friends, to whom he was like a cherished uncle, as “Jim Sir.” The title he was most proud of, however, was “Jimpa,” the name by which his grandchildren called him. Jim’s family wishes to extend their appreciation to Dr. Daniel Petrylak and his staff for the professional and compassionate care Jim received.

In memory of this gentle man, donations can be made to the charity that Jim and Ann have supported since its inception in 1978, Kids in Crisis (kidsincrisis.org), or to the Greenwich Hospital.