A Statement from Mayor Robert Conley on the Passing of Tony Martell
The passing of Tony Martell is not only a great loss to Madison but in a way also to our country and the world as whole. 41 years ago, Tony’s son TJ was losing his battle to leukemia, TJ made a request of his father, “to raise $1 million for research so “no one else will have to experience what I’m going through.” Tony Martell had no idea how he could raise such a sum, but he made that promise. Since that promise the TJ Martell Foundation has raised nearly $300 million to fund research to find a cure to leukemia, cancer and aids. We may never know how many lives have been saved through the work of the foundation, but more importantly through Tony’s promise to his dying son.
Tony was a caring person, who was always ready to step up to help those in need especially those in his beloved town, Madison. Tony greatly appreciated how Madison stepped up to support the foundation, over the years of walkathons and jazz concerts, Madison raised $2 million for the foundation.
On a personal level, it was Tony who was first to call me “Mayor”, and that was before I even ran for the office. He was an inspiration, as I knew that if Tony Martell believed in you, you were on the right track.
Tony is survived by his daughter Debbie. He lost his wife Vicky of 64 years this past February.
Tony's passing will sit heavy on the hearts of us who knew him and will be felt by many who never met him. I requested that all Madison flags be flown at half staff from today through the day of services. Please let’s take a moment of silence for prayer and reflection for truly a great man, Tony Martell.