Marty Wilensky was born in Philadelphia and grew up in the northeast section of the city, attending Northeast High School. At 16 he took a job at Burger Chef, working there the next 5½ years. After graduating high school, he attended Temple University, commuting from home. Marty paid for his tuition and expenses from the money he made at Burger Chef. Besides paying for college, his time at Burger Chef led to another life-changing event – it’s where Marty met his wife, Janice (she worked the counter while he had risen from burger flipper to assistant manager). They dated for several years and got married in 1973. They will celebrate their 50th anniversary next year.
Marty was a history major in college, where he focused on European history. However, senior year, he decided to take some accounting and business classes. After graduation, he continued taking accounting and business classes at Temple, earning enough business credits to take and pass the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) test in 1974.
After college, Marty held a couple of accounting jobs until September 1975, when he answered an ad for a local accounting firm, Blumberg, Seligman, Cupersmith & Company, LLP. The firm hired Marty as a CPA. He did well and was made partner in 1979. Many years later, in 2006, the firm split up, with Marty and Mr. Cupersmith forming Cupersmith, Wilensky, Stempler & Company, LLP. Marty is still a partner there, marking 47 years at the same firm and its successor.
Marty and Janice have three daughters and a son and four grandchildren. Their eldest daughter attended Gettysburg College, which resulted in many family outings to the battlefield at different times of the year while on college visits. She received her Master’s Degree in Micro-Biology from Johns Hopkins and lives with her husband and two children in California.
A second daughter is an engineer currently living in Ohio with her husband and twin boys. A third daughter is an attorney in Chicago, while their son is an attorney with the DC Capital Police. On January 6, 2021, he was monitoring the actions of the police officers during that day’s election protests. At some point, things escalated and he had a difficult time making it back safely to the police station when some protestors became more confrontational.
Marty taught his children the importance of history. In 1998, when the family took a vacation to Hawaii, he took them to Pearl Harbor so they would know what happened there and the sacrifices made by our military. Their visit to the Arizona Memorial was an emotional experience.
Marty enjoys reading about the Civil War. One of the first Civil War books he liked was Bruce Catton’s Grant Takes Command. He also enjoyed Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, as well as the various historical novels by Shaara’s son, Jeff.
In addition to history, Marty’s interests include Lionel trains. As a kid growing up, Marty remembers his dad setting up Lionel trains in the basement at Christmas and the fun he and his brothers had playing with them. So, when he and Janice moved into their home, Marty began collecting Lionel trains as well. He, too, set up his trains in the basement where his children could play with them. He still has his train collection, though they don’t see as much action now that his children have grown and moved on.
So how did Marty team up with Old Baldy? Well, a few years ago, one of our members, Harry Jenkins, happened to be driving by Marty’s office in Cherry Hill, NJ. Harry and Marty had been friends in Junior High School but had not seen each other in years. Harry saw Marty’s name on the firm’s sign and wondered whether this was the same Martin Wilensky he knew back in school. And in fact, it was. Marty ended up doing Harry’s taxes and Harry encouraged Marty to join the Old Baldy Civil War Round Table.
We are happy to have Marty as a member of Old Baldy. And all thanks to a fortuitous outing by his old Junior High School friend, Harry Jenkins.
By Jim Heenehan