MANCHESTER, Conn. — Howell Cheney Martyn, 77, of Ellington and Keene Valley, and formerly of West Hartford and Manchester, loving husband of Christine (Shuteran) Martyn, died Friday, May 22, 2009 at Hartford Hospital.
Born Feb. 5, 1932 in New York City, he was the son of the late Helen Cheney and Thomas Martyn, who was the founder of Newsweek Magazine.
Howell was a graduate of Kingswood School in West Hartford and of Yale University. He served two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
For 29 years he worked at the former Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co. leaving in 1985 as vice president. He then joined Mutual Benefit Life in New Jersey where he became senior vice president before joining Progressive Life of Red Bank, N.J., as CEO for two years. He concluded his insurance career as vice president of Sun Life of Canada at the company’s U.S. headquarters in Wellesley, Mass.
In 1995 he was elected president of HOLUA, an international life health insurance association. He was a frequent speaker at industry conferences.
Howell was an avid mountaineer, climbing extensively in the Adirondacks, the Rocky Mountains and Canada. He was a member and co-leader of two expeditions to unexplored areas in the Mackenzie Mountain chain in northwest Canada, where he made several first ascents.
At age 65, he made a first ascent of a peak on the northern Ellesmere Island icecap. In his 50s he was also an enthusiastic runner completing several marathons.
He is survived by his wife Christine of Ellington, Conn.; three children of his former marriage to Celia (Machaiek) Martyn: Thomas of Brattleboro, Vt., Anne of Fort Collins, Colo. and Amy of Florence, Mass.; three grandchildren: Peter, Emily and Kamini; two step-children: Brianne and Timothy; and six step-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by a sister Laura of Wilson, Wyo. Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 28 at the Holmes Funeral Home in Manchester, Conn. Burial was in the Cheney Cemetery in Manchester.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Adirondack Mountain Club, 814 Goggins Road, Lake George, NY 12845-4117 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.