Frederick W. Martsen, age 83 of Ridgefield, CT, passed away on February 3, 2023, at Danbury Hospital after a courageous battle with lung cancer. He was born in Ware, MA. on May 26, 1939, to Alfred Martsen and Lillian (Wiitala) Martsen. He was the loving husband of Louise V. (Gasiorek) Martsen, who were married in 1961 and celebrated 61 years of marriage last August.
Fred married his high school sweetheart and together they raised three wonderful sons: Eric (Loreto and three children Diana, Isabelle and Edward), Brion (Patricia and four children Benjamin, Ashley Poulin (Nicholas), Emily and Hannah), and Kirk (Gloria and two children Louise and Sophia).
Many wonderful experiences were had as Fred was very adventurous, traveling with Louise around North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and China. He enjoyed beautiful beaches, fine food, and of course, good wine. His family estivated at their idyllic cottage on Big Island, Big Pond, East Otis, MA for 47 years, and Fred spent many years renovating and remodeling their island retreat.
He was also a dedicated and active member of the Big Pond Association. Every summer was spent picking blueberries, playing water sports and hosting family barbecues on the pergola. These activities were accompanied by Fred’s eclectic taste in music, which could often be heard resonating across the water. Fred loved animals, raising Sam, a black Labrador, in the seventies and eighties, and most recently, Bailey, his 7-year-old golden retriever. A constant and loyal companion, Bailey also loved fishing in the lake and riding in the pontoon boat. Dearly loved on the island, he passed away last August from cancer.
Fred grew up in Barre, MA and devoted much time to sports. His wicked fastball allowed him to pitch Barre High School baseball’s first shutout ever. Consequently, he was scouted by the Boston Red Sox for his pitching prowess. In addition to his achievements in sports, he was awarded the Order of the Arrow by the Boy Scouts of America. Fred graduated from Barre High School in 1957. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UMass Amherst in 1963. In 1966 he earned a master’s in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
Professionally, Fred stated that he “liked being where the action was.” Though he worked initially in the space industry, most of his career was spent in the nuclear power industry, overseeing the operation and maintenance of numerous nuclear power plants throughout the United States. He worked at Hamilton Standard, Combustion Engineering, NES, Northeast Utilities, and New York Power/Entergy. Some of his accomplishments included assembling a team of fifty structural engineers in less than a month for placement at the Millstone III Nuclear Power Plant, a team that went on to achieve outstanding success. In addition, as project manager, he developed and implemented a vibration and thermal expansion test program for the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant. A longstanding member of EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA), Fred was often referred to as “Martsen the Maven” because of his ability to troubleshoot very complex problems.
Burial will be private, and a celebration of Fred’s life will take place in Massachusetts this summer. The family respectfully requests that memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society, ROAR Animal Shelter at 47 South Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877, or the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), to honor his beloved Bailey.