Barbara Martel, Wife of
Hall of Famer Jim Martel Passes
February 2, 2016

(IPSWICH, MASS.) Barbara Martel, beloved wife of 2014 New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame Inductee, Jim Martel, passed away peacefully at her home in Ipswich, surrounded by her family on Sunday, January 31, 2016. 

For a full obituary including arrangement details, and to leave condolences online please visit ; see full obituary below.

The New England Antique Racers (NEAR), would like to take this opportunity to forward its sincere condolences to the entire Martel family and all of Barbara’s many friends on this sad occasion.

By Dave Dykes

Photo courtesy of Whittier-Porter
Funeral Home

Barbara A. (Sklarz) Martel, 76, wife of James L. Martel, passed away peacefully in her Ipswich home surrounded by her loving family on Sunday, January 31, 2016.

The “Big Brave Dog” continued a lengthy battle of small cell lung cancer for more than a year and half during which time she was able to provide additional long-lasting memories for her family. She will be remembered for her courageous fight to the bitter end.

Barbara was born in Ipswich May 17, 1939, the daughter of Alexander and Pauline Sklarz. She was educated in and was a lifelong resident of Ipswich. Barbara was a longtime member of the St. Lawrence Literary Society, playing an essential part in resurrecting the annual Polish Picnic in Ipswich. She was a strong supporter of the International Supermodified Association (ISMA), following her husband and sons in auto racing all across the country. Barbara was an integral part of the Ipswich community but most of all, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, Babci, mother-in-law, daughter, sister, sister-in-law, aunt and godmother.

In addition to James, her high school sweetheart and husband for over sixty years, BAM is survived by five children, Cheryl Martel and her partner Chuck Handley, Marci Wile and her husband Rande, Lori Martel, J. Scott Martel and his wife Kathy, and Keith Martel; seven grandchildren, Amanda Riddle, Colby, Cassie and Caila Gorniewicz, Ashley Roes and her wife Katie, Paige Proctor, Jaime and Brooke Martel, and one great-grandchild, Zoe Clarke. She is also survived by her siblings and their spouses, Eleanor Reilly, Edward and Janet Sklarz, Carol Anne Collum, Sandy and Donnie Bayley, David and Lisa Sklarz, Nancy Lavoie, Joey and Candy Sklarz, sister-in-law Linda Mueller, and lastly, many nieces and nephews and their children who were very close to their Aunty Barbara. Barbara will now join her late sister Cynthia and brother-in-laws Joseph Reilly, Richard Collum, Gunter Mueller and Arthur (Junior) Martel.

Her funeral will be held at 8 am Saturday February 6 from the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich, followed by the celebration of a Funeral Mass in Our Lady of Hope Church, 1 Pineswamp Road, Ipswich, at 9 am. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. Visiting hours will be Friday from 4 to 8pm. Memorial contributions in her name may be made to Care Dimensions, Suite B-102, 75 Sylvan Street, Danvers, Massachusetts 01923.