Martin, Veronica, 2017


Martin, Veronica, 2017

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Veronica Martin was born on February 4, 1935 in Cortland, New York to her parents, both whom were Italian immigrants. Veronica’s real name is Marian, however, that is a name that was passed down through her family, so when she became old enough, she asked people to call her Veronica. She was an only child and grew up surrounded by the love of her parents. Growing up in Cortland her entire life, she watched as the city of Cortland blossomed into what it is today, and what was prior. In Cortland, there were multiple stores and minimal restaurants different of how it is today. Her father and mother were both Italian immigrants, while her mother had a harder time assimilating to American society, and struggled to speak English. While her father assimilated rather quickly, he obtained several janitorial jobs for several stores downtown. Growing up during this time Veronica witnessed World War II and the effects it had on society. Food was rationed and many men that worked in the community were sent to war. After many years of Veronica’s father instructing that her mother learn English she attended classes. She then took the test to become a naturalized citizen. Veronica attended St. Mary’s School when she was a child and continued her education in college by attending the Eastman Dental Dispensary. She received her degree as a dental hygienist. After working as a dental hygienist in one of the county schools for a year, she went back to school to get her BS in Health Education at SUNY Cortland. In the midst of earning another degree, she met her husband, Richard. They got married in 1961. She had three boys, John and Joseph, who were twins, and her youngest, Thomas, born in 1967. Upon getting her degree there were no health education jobs. She went back to dental hygiene in the Tully and Fabius Schools for six years. Mrs. Martin then worked for the Groton Health Center for three years. She then stopped to continue to raise her family. When her youngest son returned home from college, he noticed a job opening for a health educator and suggested that his mom apply for the position. Veronica then applied and got the job that she held for six years. It was her favorite job, and she wished she didn't have to retire. Veronica being an only child made her appreciate her parents. They made sure to always include her in conversations, they told her things that were happening in the community and expressed their opinions to her. She tributes the relationship she had with her parents to the reason as to why she decided to stay in Cortland and raise her family. Veronica worked within the community her whole life. She now helps out at the Cortland Community Center, with her husband. She is also a member of the Catholic Daughters and the 20th Century Club. Her love for the community and town of Cortland is expressed in the many roles she has had throughout her life.

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Brenna Venth is a sophomore at SUNY Cortland and is studying adolescence education with a major in history. Matt McNally is a junior at SUNY Cortland and is studying adolescence education with a major in history. Michael Mirabile is a junior at SUNY Cortland and is studying history. Patrick McGuckin is a junior at SUNY Cortland and is studying adolescence education with a major in history. This interview is part of a series of interviews conducted in fall 2017 about the Wickwire Factory and the History of Cortland for History 280: Introduction to Public History at SUNY Cortland and for the 1890 House Museum. This class is taught by Evan Faulkenbury.


Interview was conducted by Matt McNally, Michael Mirabile, and Patrick McGuckin on October 05, 2017.


Veronica Martin, Oral Histories, Cortland Community

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.


These oral histories express the personal views, memories, and opinions of the interviewee. They do not represent the policy, views, or official history of SUNY Cortland.

Martin, Veronica, 2017