The Martin House family lost a prominent member on August 1st when Mark James Armesto, Sr., passed away in Quincy, Florida. Born in Buffalo in 1929, Mark married Pattie Martin, adopted daughter of Darwin R. Martin and granddaughter of Darwin D. and Isabelle Martin.
Mark graduated from the Harvard School of Business in 1968, and went on to a seventeen year career with Sheraton Hotels. Mark had the opportunity to travel the world through his work, and souvenirs from these many destinations decorated his home in Havana, FL (near Tallahassee). Mark became an avid golfer, wine enthusiast and member of various boards and organizations in his community. But he had a special place in his heart for Buffalo and for the Martin House, honoring his wife's connection to the Martins' "domestic symphony" with the gift of an original Japanese print in 2008. He also gave the MHRC items of personal ephemera related to Pattie's grandfather, Darwin D. Martin: a silver cup commemorating Martin's retirement from the Larkin Company in 1925, and a copy of his booklet, "The First to Make a Card Ledger."
I had the pleasure of meeting Mark at his home in Havana to receive these gifts and interview him and his brother-in-law, Alexander Martin. Even in this brief meeting, I could see that Mark was a true gentleman - generous, thoughtful and personable - surely a pleasure to all who knew him.
Mark Armesto (back row, on left) with Martin family in the gardener's cottage, 2009. Martin grandchildren are in the front row (L to R): Margaret Foster, Darwin Martin ("Jerry") Foster and wife, Hanne.