A lot of people say they have no intention of retiring as they approach 60. But Donna Martin, of Port Republic, really means it.
The grandmother of five graduated Friday from veterinary school two weeks before her 58th birthday and is starting a new career as a veterinarian.
“I had always wanted to be a vet, but it just wasn’t possible,” she said, until now.
She couldn’t afford college after high school, so she started working office jobs, then married Joseph Martin and had two sons, Austin, 34, of Upper Township, and Alexander, 30, of Port Republic.
Martin worked for 22 years for Atlantic Electric, quit in her early 40s and worked for veterinarian Andrew Lischin for nine years. At 50, she decided to become a vet.
By using her pension funds and savings, she could afford it, Martin said. So she earned a degree in biology from Richard Stockton College and applied to veterinary schools at age 53. She got in at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies.
For three years, she lived in Grenada, seeing her family only every few months. Two of her siblings and one in-law died while she was there. She couldn’t come home for their funerals.
“The study commitment was very tough, and for a mature, nontraditional student it was even tougher,” she said.
She did her clinical year at Louisiana State University. Now, she’s finally living back home and determined to practice locally, she said. She specializes in companion animals and would like to do shelter medicine.
B-17 repairs in Cape
Dick Ryan, of North Cape May, was among a group of Naval Air Station Wildwood volunteers who repaired a World War II B-17 airplane that developed engine trouble while visiting the NASW at Cape May Airport.
The 1946 Yankee Lady and her 10-member crew landed at the air station June 10 for an anticipated three-day visit. But it took an additional two days to fix an oil leak and other engine problems, an NASW representative said.
A rocker arm conical bushing from one of the museum’s acquisitions was used to complete the repair.
“We had a piece that was almost in pristine condition,” Ryan, a retired Air Force mechanic, said in a written statement. He said the part came from a plane on static display in the museum. “I can replace it with a look-alike,” he said.