‘She was always there’

By ROBERT LINNEHAN | The Haddonfield Sun
Longtime and beloved crossing guard Eileen Martyn, 60, passed away suddenly Saturday, June 6.
The crossing guard served at Glover and Grove streets, helping Tatem Elementary School students cross safely for many years. A makeshift memorial of balloons, stuffed animals and bereavement cards has since been constructed by caring parents and students for the crossing guard who touched the lives of so many during her time at the post.
Gino Priolo, principal of Tatem Elementary School, expressed his condolences at Martyn’s passing. She will be missed greatly by students, faculty and parents alike, he said. Her passion for the students and her job was easy to see.
“Eileen was a caring and compassionate person who commuted daily from Philadelphia to ensure the safety of our children. Mrs. Martyn often went above and beyond for our students, most recently dropping off a student’s lunch money that was found in the street,” he said. “She would even dress up each Halloween, which is something the students got a big kick out of. We will certainly remember Mrs. Martyn with the fondest memories.”
While many didn’t know her personally, people driving to work in the morning will have a hard time looking at her corner and not seeing her there.
Jeff Tucker — whose son, Jake, attends Tatem — didn’t know Martyn personally, but was greeted most mornings with a wave and a warm smile from her as he drove past the corner to work.
“I’ve driven down to Glover everyday for work since I moved into town since 2001. My knowledge of her was just seeing her at the corner every day, waving to people as they drove by. She was always there, and I saw how she interacted with the children. She lights up for them. She’s something of an institution at that corner,” he said. “There aren’t enough people like her. She’s what makes small towns what they are; she brings a lot of value to a small town.”
An interesting note, he said, is in a recent picture on Google Earth of the Glover and Grove Street intersection, you can see Eileen getting out of her car.
Sabine Mehner, mother of two children who went through the school and past PTA president, said Martyn was a fantastic woman who will be sorely missed. Her children loved being at the safety post with Martyn, she said, who always treated them with love and respect.
Martyn was an animal lover as well, Mehner said, and would bring her dog with her to work. She always had a treat handy for the dogs that walked by her corner.
“She was a wonderful person. She always put a smile on your face and she was so good with kids and awesome with the dogs. I’d walk my dog around the loop and sometimes she would actually have her puppy with her because she couldn’t leave it at home all day,” Mehner said.
“She was always surrounded by kids and so friendly with all the dogs. She had such a bright side to her, she will surely be missed.”