Jim Marty (1930-2015) RIP

James August Marty(1930-2015)RIP


Jim Marty had lived 82 years in our street. A  religious, family man, his funeral  yesterday was well attended and totally convincing of a “good and solid life”. The simple, almost bare St Simons in Putney underlining that quality does not have to come with bells and trumpets.

Jim’s father was a Swiss hotelier who having travelled round Europe made his home in London. The family story had it that he bought the house no 64, in 1932, at the end of the street because it was convenient for the rowboat ferry that used to go from the Thames Rowing Club to Bishops Park for an old penny. That is next to Fulham Football Club then very much First Division which Marty pere supported .

Jim started off in accountancy which he found boring, so like many trying to escape grey, ration bound Britain after the war he joined the Merchant Navy. He had hoped that would mean he wouldn’t have to do National Service. No such luck and the RAF followed.

His career was as a school teacher to which he rose to be a Deputy Head in Battersea. His children remembered being often accosted by grateful pupils now adults who wanted to shake his hand.

But the core of his life was his family. Trautie had come over from Germany in the 1950s as an au pair. They  met. Played a lot of tennis in Barnes and then she went home. Jim wrote every day, sometimes twice and within a year Trautie, elegant, immaculate Trautie came back.

They had four children all of whom became school teachers. As well as being an exemplary teacher Jim was a highly skilled artist and  wood carver.  Both children and grand children remember his skill as  a story teller, Wind in the Willows being a favourite .At the funeral the eleven grand children were all present.

For many like me who have been in the street less than ten years Jim was a rare sight. A broken hip, complications with surgery and bouts of increasingly serious cancer meant he wasn’t often seen. He was determined to die at home and when that moment came he was surrounded by his family. Typically towards the end he limited his Bible reading to the Apostles as it gave him a better idea “of the face of Jesus”.

At the funeral the family  was  brilliantly represented by a son’s moving eulogy and by a grandson who played  the cello piece, the exquisite Sarabande in D minor by Bach. And the strength and continuity of this family was  more than symbolised as six sons and grandsons, all tall and  handsome, carried their patriarch out of the church and into the late morning where at last the rain had stopped.


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