July 4, 1929 – April 26, 2021
Martin Heyman, 91, of Newton, died peacefully at home on April 26th surrounded by his twins, Leigh and Samantha. He was predeceased by his wife, Susan, in April of 2020. He leaves behind his children and his beloved granddaughters, Amelia, Molly, and Evalyn along with his son-in-law, Jeffrey Hicks, and daughter-in-law, Ilisa Horowitz Heyman, whom he loved as though they were his own. His final days and weeks, though challenging, were filled with love, music, stories, the Masters, a 9-game Red Sox winning streak and visits from the friends he and Susan knew for more than four decades.
He was born in Springfield, MA on July 4th, 1929 to Leo Heyman and Flora Rubin Heyman, younger brother to Annette Helen Heyman, with whom he shared a deep love of golf. A combination of his parents’ talents and his own blend of sensibility, meticulousness and imagination, he earned a degree in Electrical Engineering from New York University and went on to enjoy four distinct careers over his sixty years of professional life. Upon his father’s death, he managed the family’s electrical contracting company until he was drawn back to his beloved New York City to begin a 10-year career as an actor Off-Broadway. Leaving acting behind, he began a career in construction management with the innovative consulting firm MBM, then moved to Boston to work with The Architects’ Collaborative, and ultimately oversaw projects in Thailand, Israel, Czechoslovakia and Mongolia. His construction management career culminated with major building contracts at two Boston Landmarks, Rowes Wharf and 75 State St. He eased into retirement with private consulting engagements, enabling local homeowners to bring their visions to reality, “on time and under budget”.
He was privileged to share his life with his wife of nearly 59 years, Susan Cohen, introduced to him by his best friend, Hugh Miller. They married in August of 1961 and started their life together in a small Greenwich Village apartment while he was acting and Susan was a playwright agent for the William Morris agency. From there they would enjoy a lifetime of adventure, starting with a trip to Washington D.C. in 1963 for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington. Their passion for politics - equality, civil rights, environmental protection - would stay with them, as they canvassed for Barney Frank and Elizabeth Warren and served as delegates to the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
Consummate travelers, Martin and Susan set off on their first trip in 1964 and had explored almost 40 countries by 2019, including many in Europe and Africa, along with India and Indonesia, and the American and Canadian West. In Thailand, in keeping with his curious and diligent personality, Martin educated himself in Asian arts and began to build a rich art collection, to which he and Susan added pieces from their numerous travels around the world, acquiring a sophisticated wine collection along the way.
He is remembered by a warm circle of friends for his quiet observation and thoughtful participation in conversations and book club. They were grateful for his support when they were going through hard times, for his sense of humor and for always learning something from him. Even in death, he taught his friends and family about strength, commitment, love, compassion, and honor. At 90, he completed a 230-page autobiography and spoke of creativity being at the heart of the human experience. Though derived from his experience in the theater, he applied this conviction to his life in total, stating that, “...my creativity was in developing a rich, exciting, inquisitive life with a good sense of humor in which I could build a good marriage and nurture exceptional children. That might be creative enough.”