NORTH FALMOUTH - Martin Fido’s colorful life ended on April 2nd, following a fall at his home.
Born in the UK, in the small village of Heamoor, Cornwall, to Austin and Enid Fido, his adventurous spirit saw him travel the world, ending his days here in Falmouth, USA. After receiving a First-class degree in English Literature from Oxford University’s Lincoln College, Martin embarked on an academic career that included stints at the Universities of Leeds, Michigan State and the West Indies (Barbados). In the 1980s, he returned to the UK and devoted his attention to writing and broadcasting, primarily on the subject of true crime. To his lasting (pleasant) surprise, the 1987 publication of The Crimes, Detection and Death of Jack the Ripper brought him continuing recognition as an expert on the notorious serial killer. His work on the elusive Ripper also provided enduring personal and professional friendships with fellow scholars and enthusiasts in the field. In later years, Martin returned to his métier, teaching writing at Boston University. With a bow tie and booming voice, he gleefully lived up to expectations of the eccentric English professor until his death.
He is survived by his brother Hugh, sister-in-law Carol, of Canterbury UK, two daughters, Becki and Abi Fido of Yorkshire, UK, from his first marriage to Judith, and a son, Austin Fido of Barbados, from his second marriage to Elaine. He was very proud of his four grandsons: Luke, Ben, Noah and Kit. There were no children from Martin’s third marriage, to Karen – an American from this part of the world who pre-deceased him. They will all miss him very much. As will Jacqui Wiltshire of Barbados, who was to share his future.
In the words of a friend from West Falmouth Quaker Meeting – upon which he focused much of his energy in recent years – “he leaves a large footprint”.
There will be a memorial service at West Falmouth Friends Meeting House on Saturday 13th April at 4:00 p.m., followed by a time of fellowship at his home.
Martin supported a variety of charities, mostly focused on nature and wildlife conservation, the alleviation of poverty, and enabling access to education. In lieu of flowers, a donation to one such cause is recommended.