Cover photo for John Martello's Obituary
John Martello Profile Photo

John Martello

February 28, 1920 — March 3, 2023

John W. Martello passed away peacefully on March 3, 2023, after reaching the age of 103 years old.

John was born on February 28th, 1920, in Anaconda, Montana to Joe and Mary Ann D’Angelo Martello. He was the middle child of five brothers.  He graduated from Helena High School and attended the University of Montana in Missoula. Following his time at the University, he enlisted in the Army Medical Corps and served for four years as a medical laboratory technician in Alaska and Aleutian theaters. After his time in the Army, he was employed as a state sanitary inspector for the food and drug division of the Montana state board of health.

John married the love of his life, Jean Palmer Martello, in 1944.  They were married for 74 years before Jean’s passing in 2018.  During the early years of their marriage, they owned the Martello’s Root Beer Stand in Helena, MT.  Years later, he continued his entrepreneurship and opened the Hofbrau Bar and Restaurant in Helena.  While managing the Hofbrau, John worked full time as the Chief medical technician at Fort Harrison Veteran’s Hospital.  He eventually retired from the Veterans Hospital and enjoyed 30 plus years as a “snowbird” where his winters were spent Arizona.

Another large part of John’s life was being a member of Helena Masonic Lodge and Algeria Shrine. John was the youngest man to be appointed as Potentate of the Algeria Shrine and lived to be the oldest past Potentate.  John and his wife travelled the country representing the Algeria Shrine.  One of his favorite pastimes was volunteering at the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Spokane, WA.

John loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing but most importantly; he loved spending time with family and friends. He lived for parties and celebrations with those he loved. He never needed an excuse to throw a party, but his favorites were anniversaries and birthdays, including his 103rd birthday party - fit with balloons, treats, and lots of love.

John was a family man and enjoyed his grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.   He was beyond proud of them and enjoyed celebrating their accomplishments.

He was a strong patriarch of his family, a good friend to all, and a man who would offer his hand to anyone in need.

John was proceeded in death by his wife, Jean Palmer Martello; son, Jeffery Martello; and five brothers, Angelo, Edward, Albert, Fred and Joseph. An end of an era for the “Martello Boys”.

He is survived by his daughter, Janie Perkins (Thomas Roe Perkins) of Whitefish; grandchildren, Drew (Desiree) Perkins and their children Kashton and Oakleigh of Benton City, Washington and Amy Perkins of Bozeman. John is survived by numerous nieces and nephews.

Grave side services will be held this summer in Helena. Friends are encouraged to visit our website at to leave notes of condolences for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory caring for the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Martello, please visit our flower store.


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