Bernard J. ‘Ben/Bernardo’ Martini II, beloved husband of the late Evelyn ‘Evie’ M. (nee Reising) Martini. Devoted father of the late Scott (the late Pam) Martini, Gregg (Jamie Hoffpauir) Martini of Bellevue, Kentucky, Maria (Al Hidalgo) Deneau of Cincinnati and Tony (Yasmin) Martini of Hilliard, Ohio, and foster father to the late William ‘Bill’ Girand. Loving grandfather of Leopold, Louis and Lila Martini and Scott Deneau. Dear brother of Delores ‘Dee’ Garrett of Dry Ridge, Kentucky, and the late Camille Paolercio and Norma Loura. Born in Cincinnati, June 22, 1933, to Bernard and Stella (nee Ruggiero) Martini, Ben passed away on January 19, 2021, at the age of 87 due to complications that arose after contracting COVID-19.
Ben was a 1951 graduate of Roger Bacon High School and a U.S. Navy Veteran who served during the Korean War. After graduating from cosmetology school, he became the owner/operator of Mr. Martini’s, a full-service hair salon and long time west-side institution, finally partnering with his son Scott (and eventually wife Pam) as Ben & Scott Martini’s Hair Designers until the time of Scott and Pam’s sudden passing in 1999 at which he point he officially retired.
An avid music lover, Ben played in his high school marching band, and while rock and roll was being introduced and embraced by young adults during the 50s, he was an ardent fan of the still active big bands, especially the progressive music of Stan Kenton whose band would frequently perform at Coney Island’s Moonlight Gardens where he and Evelyn had their first dates. His kids remember his time spent listening to albums and playing his electric organ, and as young children they often pleaded for Ben to perform on the accordion, the same one he took lessons with as a small child. At Bayley Place where he last resided, staff remarked upon his piano sessions and how others would gather to listen and dance as he played.
Ben and Evelyn raised their kids primarily in the Anniston Dr. house that he was proud to have custom built for the young family around the time their second child, Gregg, was born. Later, he, Evelyn and Tony relocated to a community just behind Oak Hills High School (OHHS)—which all the kids attended—and where after retiring Ben donated his time to assist the OHHS marching band under the direction of Larry Welsh. He and Evelyn also volunteered with the regional chapter of the Special Olympics.
They lived a fun, happy life, hosting parties as a young married couple, recreating and traveling with their children soon after and continuing to socialize with many faithful and life-long friends. After retiring, they took many trips with Evelyn’s sister Pat and husband Frank. Ben was a passionate supporter of his children’s sports, music and all their extra-curricular activities and interests—and those of his grandchildren—continuing well into his last years.
He leaves behind an extensive network of friends and family, including many nieces and nephews and their own kids who fondly recall “Uncle Ben” and his Michigan family, the Deneau clan. His mother, Stella, lived until the age of 98; sadly, his father passed away when Ben was 15, both of them having emigrated from the Calabria region of Italy along with Stella’s sisters (Stella and sisters were from Fuscaldo).
There was no one who remained untouched and delighted having known Ben, even after just a brief meeting, whose convivial spirit, rakish charm and sense of humor forged an extended family lineage, both remarkable and immeasurable.
Bernard will be entombed next to Evelyn at St. Joseph Cemetery, 3819 W. 8th Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45205, with military honors in a private ceremony due to the circumstances of COVID-19. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Alois Alzheimer Foundation in honor of Evelyn and Ben Martini @ www.aloisalzheimerfoundation.org, or by sending a check to The Alois Alzheimer Foundation, 70 Damon Rd., Cincinnati OH 45218.
There will be a private celebration of life hosted by the family close to Ben’s birthdate.
Ralph Meyer & Deters Funeral Home serving the family.
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