Martin James Durkin, former deputy director of security for the Town of Huntington and a retired New York City police officer, died Nov. 5 of natural causes. He was 75.
The Lake Grove resident is remembered as a dedicated family man with a great sense of humor, and as a public servant who spent his career in law enforcement and security.
"Looking back at his work history, even with the police department, he was always working with or helping families and children," said his son Kenneth Durkin, of Bayport.
Born Nov. 23, 1937, in Manhattan, the eldest of James and Catherine Durkin's five children, Marty, as he was known, followed in the footsteps of his father, becoming a police officer, a law enforcement family tradition that continued with three of his children having careers as police officers.
He started his career in the 110th precinct in Elmhurst, Queens, serving in several others before retiring in 1981 from the senior citizens robbery unit.
While working as a patrolman, Durkin received a master's degree in social work from Stony Brook University. After retiring, he worked for two years at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Nassau and Suffolk, his son said.
After leaving that job, he began working for the Town of Huntington, retiring as the deputy director of security, according to town officials. He retired from the town job in 1997. He then went to work for Help Suffolk, a transitional housing facility for homeless families, as a security supervisor, retiring in 2004.
Despite his busy work schedule, he was an active community leader. He served as the president of the Middle Country school district board, was a former president of the American Society for Industrial Security, a trade group of security and law enforcement professionals, and a former president of the Suffolk County "10-13" Association, made up of retired NYPD police officers. In addition, he was also a Eucharistic minister at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Centereach.
But Kenneth Durkin said nothing was more important than his family, which to him included many friends.
"It seems like he would rarely have time for anything else, but he always made time for his family and his friends," Durkin said.
"He was the type of friend everyone wanted to have and if you were his friend, it was for life."
In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife, Florence of 53 years; three other sons, James of Lake Grove, Martin of Centereach, and Michael of Lake Grove; a daughter, Lorri-Ann Durkin of Maspeth; and nine grandchildren.
A funeral was held Nov. 9 at The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Burial was at Pinelawn.