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Martin Cosimo's family are Islanders fans. When he tragically died last March, the Islanders became part of his legacy.

Monday, 07.5.2010 / 10:18 AM ET / News
By Katrina Doell
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It’s not unusual for families to rally around a favorite sports team. It’s a bonding experience and the memories that wives, husbands, daughters and sons create and share are reflected on for decades. Stories are told to the next generations, keeping traditions and memories alive.

For Martin Cosimo’s family, the New York Islanders provided just this type of bond. After Martin, a New York Islanders season ticket holder for the last 13 years, was tragically killed in a car accident last March, it’s the memories of what this team meant to their father that his children, Tasha Lyn and Marin Jr. share with the world.

The Cosimo's at a family party. From left: Martin Sr. Tasha Lyn, Debbie and Martin Jr.
Martin Sr. and his wife Debbie of nearly 25 years started attending Islanders games as young sweethearts at the ages of 14 and 15. Tasha Lyn and Martin Jr. were destined to be Islanders fans.

“The day we were born, we were put in Islanders jerseys and given mini sticks,” Tasha said. It was a tradition that was extended to cousins and god children. “We all had jerseys, even the fisherman ones!”

It’s a tradition Tasha Lyn, Martin and Debra are proud to pass on to the younger members of their family. Which is why this off season, the Cosimo family renewed their season tickets to the Islanders.

“It is definitely something we want to pass on to the younger kids in the family,” Tasha Lyn said. “He would always take the younger cousins and his god children to games.”

Tasha and Martin Jr. talked about some of their favorite memories from attending Islanders games with their dad.

“We went to every game every year,” said Tasha Lyn, who played hockey until she was a teenager. “We had some crazy times where I held my breath. I loved the fights.”

She added: “There were only two rules in our house: 1. Take off your shoes, and 2. No. Rangers fans allowed. He could talk about the Cup years for days. He had every Newsday cover signed and a signed puck for nearly every player.”

For Martin, it was the 2007 preseason game against the Rangers when goalie Rick DiPietro, with all his teammates already fighting with other Rangers players, skated down the ice to fight with Rangers goalie Al Montoya.

“I think also the Shawn Bates penalty shot in 2002. I was biting my fingernails!”

It was their love for hockey that Martin Jr. said helped to build the strong relationship he had with dad.  Hockey became so important to Martin and his son that the pair started playing roller hockey together five years ago.

Martin Sr. and Jr. at the Hockey Hall of Fame, one of their many hockey trips.
“We started a team five years ago,” Martin Jr. said. “It took him a while to get used to roller blades, he had only skated on roller skates before he played hockey. That team was so important to us. We buried him in our team jersey.”

On that team, Martin Sr. wore 4 and his son wore 44.

The Cosimo family’s love for the Islanders extended to Florida, where they spent time at a second home. They would go to the BankAtlantic Center any time the Isles came to town.

“Oh, and if there was a game on and we could not be at it, we were going to find some place to watch it,” Tasha said with a laugh.

Martin Jr. said hockey and all the road trips brought him and his father together.

“We went to the Winter Classic in Buffalo in 2008, the Winter Classic in Boston last winter, the All Star game in Montreal in 2009,  and we went to the Hockey Hall of Fame,” Martin Jr. said.

It was not only though hockey that Martin Sr., touched the lives of so many, but through his success in many types of businesses that he made an impact. He was Vice President of Becker-Parkin Dental Supply Company, went on to start is own dental equipment repair service, a cabinet making company, and a car wash.  He was a graduate of Dowling College and was honored as one of the school’s Top 40 in 40. 

Martin Cosimo left not only his work ethic and love of family behind him, but a bright orange and blue trail of Islanders fans. And, like the Islanders have for so many fans, Martin Cosimo left a legacy.




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