Our dear friend Martin suddenly passed away on January 14th in his San Francisco home. Adventurer, sailor, pilot, poet, husband, and for so many a true friend, he was many things to many people. We invite you, his friends and family to share your memories, stories and images for us all to once more appreciate the man and his truly well-lived life.

A celebration of life memorial was held on Sunday. February 10th and in accordance to his wishes, his ashes were scattered from the Mt Tam hang gliding launch pad on Thursday, January 24th. Should friends desire, in lieu of flowers and as an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent in his honour to one of the following organizations:

Salvation Army United Kingdom

Salvation Army San Francisco

SPCA San Francisco


Posted by Greg Pritchard on April 6, 2020
I did not know 'till now. You were a dear friend to me and my family
and especially to our departed son Benjamin who you are with now.
Our great times together at Lake Tahoe will always be remembered.
God Bless You.
Love to Masai
Posted by Liz Hodgkinson on January 2, 2020
I have only just learned of Martin's death. I knew him in Newcastle in the 1960s when he was working at Proctor and Gamble, and then we got back in touch in later years. Martin always seemed so full of life, so multi-faceted and was extremely sporting and lively right to the end. I had no idea he was even ill.
Posted by Tamsin Booth on September 18, 2019
Dearest Martin,
We are so sorry - We only just learned of your death. We have known you all our lives, so our lives will have a little bit of fun and light missing without you. We know you were such a special friend to Mum & Dad too. All our memories with you are filled with living life to the full at 100 miles an hour - skiing, running, sailing, singing, dinners, parties - I know mum loved to party with you! London, Brussels, Tokyo, San Francisco....I am so thankful we were able to have a last bit of fun with you last year in San Fran. We will miss you so, so much. Sending this with so much love. Tamsin and Esther xxxxx
Posted by Pat Chiota on July 5, 2019
Thanks to Forever Missed, Bob and Nantha Gattie and Rick Payne and I realized that we both knew Martin and Masae at different points in our
lives. We had dinner together last Friday in Singapore and shared stories
of our friendships. Martin's legacy lives on in our hearts and in the hearts of all those whose lives he touched. Hugs to Masae on what is no doubt a tough day without her "birthday boy" close by to spoil on his big day. xo Pat Chiota and Rick Payne
Posted by Bob Gattie on May 11, 2019
Martin, learned belatedly of your sudden passing......
Such good memories of Brussels (your life book, Levis, Bois de la Cambre, squash); San Francisco (x 2) ( Ben' s first visit ; Masae and Nantha bonding ; McKinsey picnic) ; Tokyo (your apartment, Tianamen Square); Singapore (bangers and mash at The Tanglin Club, squash again; San Francisco - the last time (karaoke - one of the worst renditions of a Beatles song ever !).
A good life, well lived. RIP my friend.
Bob and Nantha, Singapore
Posted by Pat Chiota on April 21, 2019
Rick and I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Martin and Masae through Rod & PJ Handeland during the 8 years (2002-2010) we lived near both of them in San Francisco. We have lovely memories of fun parties on his rooftop garden, a weekend in Wine Country with Rod & PJ at their friends' place, a day together at a lecture in Palo Alto, dinners at our home in Cow Hollow, and several fun evenings at Masae's wonderful Festa Karaoke bar in Japan Town.
As said by others, I always thought of Martin as a renaissance man with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. He was a man's man pursuing all sorts of adventure sports, an intellectual and a philosopher, a business and financial advisor...someone who had a curiosity and interest in everything and everyone. He was a beautiful human being who made a deep and warm impression on us during the years we lived in San Francisco together. Those lovely memories and our warm affection for him will remain in our hearts always. Our sincere condolences, Masae. Pat Chiota and Rick Payne
Posted by Flora Lels on February 26, 2019
You were a dear friend of my mothers', Nienke but you became a friend of mine over the years and truly someone I was always uplifted to see. I would cross paths with you at an event, or on chestnut street, or riding your bike on the marina green, and you always had the gift of reminding me to be present because you were so polite, so civilized, so dapper, so positive and you made my heart smile to see you. Your poise and authenticity was a reminder of what is important in life - your relationships and being in the moment. I thank you for being the embodiment and inspiration for a life well lived and I will miss your smile and spirit.
Posted by Julie Coplon on February 13, 2019
Dear Martini,
What a great friend both you and Masae have been to us over the years. We’ve shared Levi’s; we’ve shared fabulous dinners and great intellectual conversations; we’ve shared friends; we’ve shared laughs and adventures (but not skydiving!); we’ve share the Economist; we’ve shared Moocat and we’ve shared so much more.
Plus, we’ve patiently listened to your tuba and marching music and enjoyed being with you for more than 30 years. And we've loved you during all that time.
Dear, dear Martini, I’m numb; you were larger than life to me. I thought you would live forever. I can’t believe you’re gone…. along with Bob and Moocat. 
Now that you are in heaven, just know that having been your friend was a milestone for us and your essence will forever raise the bar for me and others down below.
I will truly miss you…………. Julie
Posted by Rod Handeland on February 13, 2019
As Kevin spoke of regimental tie gift from Martin at last dinner we had with Martin and Masae after Christmas, I thought that with Kevin's, brother Tristan, as well as mother PJ, enough had been said from Handeland's in tribute to Martin. But I couldn't resist asking 'what about hang gliding at Funston', which Kevin picked up and turned into tale of his second grade outing that was more charming than I even recalled.
On reflecting on earlier comments of Kevin's brother Tristan, I realized I was too far away to say 'what about Marvin?' Then I realized I had already summarized adorable Corgi dog named Marvin, used to announce Tristan and Laura's twin daughters in photo with Giants scarf and two baby Giant dresses behind in earlier tribute here. Even though babies Emma and Caroline, who were still to fragile to be at last dinner with Martin and Masae, it was Tristan who had final Handeland contact with Martin, over how to access Emma and Caroline photos. Martin did, and I thought: even though Marvin who announced twins never lived to see them or they to know Marvin, at least Martin got to see photos of Emma and Caroline before those last moments on his beloved Marina penthouse deck.
So after last of touching vignettes at Martin Memorial Sunday, I realized everything I may have said of Martin had already been alluded to or commented on, except for:
1. Hugh Parker, who long before most of us came to know Martin, when he joined Levi's and came with Masae to San Francisco, was Martin's first international mentor. Hugh was first McKinsey Partner transferred to London to build McKinsey Europe. And coincidentally Hugh was also my last mentor in his final role as Business International CEO. Both Martin and I talked often with respect and awe of Hugh and kept in touch with him until he passed away recently.
2. And to conclude comments, I would have glanced at all those gathered and observed Festa as fitting place for last gathering for Martin, since it reflects both the vision and ambition of Masae, combined with the unwavering support of Martin, a great example of how the best of a marriage can also be a successful business partnership, a tribute to both Martin and Masae.
I did convey that last sentiment to Masae as we left, and only missed opportunity to complement her friend Yuko, who I didn't realize was sitting next to Masae, on Yuko's great gift of providing and administering this wonderful 'Never Forgotten' place to remember Martin.
Posted by Lynne Day on February 10, 2019
During the fortnight since his passing, we have often recalled the words:
HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE – “shame on anyone who thinks badly of it (him)”
Officially the motto of the “Order of the Garter,” it is not only used on the British royal coat of arms, but also by several regiments of the British army – altho not the Parachute Regiment…………
Martin Beresford was a renaissance man, and true gentleman in the classic sense of the word. He excelled not simply at sporting pursuits, but also pursuits of the mind. An Englishman who became a proud American citizen, he personified not just “a life well (and vigorously) lived,” but a man who inspired us to feel we were indeed the better for the privilege of having known him.
Thom & Lynne Chirurg (San Francisco)
Posted by Nienke Hohmann on February 6, 2019
Dearest Martin, I still cannot believe you are really gone, my super gentleman friend: bright, great wit, always a twinkle in your eyes, a smile and your ascot. We had lengthy conversations about "why are we here", "what is death", you believed in life's mysteries, the unknown... there is so much we cannot explain...
Numerous were our tennis games, movies and dinners. You were always into sports, from hangliding to sailing, up to the end you kept trying when you finally bought yourself a red tricycle!
You were a very kind and humble human being , Martin, you will stay an inspiration for me, and I will be sad a l o n g time as I miss a great friend.
Posted by Morelle Forster on January 30, 2019
Martin, you were a caring man; you cared about your friends. You will always occupy a special place in my heart!  Now you are in new and different climes - bon voyage!
Posted by Geoffrey Rutledge on January 29, 2019
Martin, you were a great friend and a gentleman. We met hang gliding, and enjoyed many camping and flying trips together with my beloved Katie, whom you loved too! It was just a few months ago we met for lunch and you took a fancy to Lola, my young Belgian shepherd. You regaled me with stories of life and sailing -- seems like just yesterday. So glad we had a chance to connect. You are missed.
Posted by Rod Handeland on January 28, 2019
Martin has been our closest friend since he and Masae arrived from Belgium with Levi's International in 1982. I had the opportunity to work with him for a few years when I was with Business International until we sold BI to Economist. During those years we realized we had a close link through Hugh Parker who Martin worked for after Hugh was first McKinsey Partner to be sent to London to begin McKinsey Europe practice. At end of Hugh's career he was head of BI and I had the privilege of working for him up until we sold BI to Economist in 1986.
In San Francisco we traveled to Sierras with Martin and Masae and think of their Lake Street first home from New Year's Eve of 1985. Six weeks later Tristan was born and I continued commuting to NY BI work. Even with a new son, life then was never as challenging as for Martin, when a few years later with an even longer commute to Asia for investments banks, he faced enormous challenge of all renovation complexities of their Sacramento St. home.

Martin returned from Far East as Gorbachev lost USSR. I think of that in relation to richest aspect of our friendship always being vibrant and, as PJ knows, often passionate discussion of views of world around us. Most were every few weeks beginning with late afternoon gin and tonics at Martin and Masae's wonderful new Marina penthouse, that from deck we could look up to see our home 8 blocks south as well as watch sunset over Golden Gate. Often these exchanges of views extended to dinners at Beresford's or Handeland's.

When Masae called on recent evening, I was hearing words I last heard 30 years ago, when a young nephew of our best man Tom Henry, walked to podium and began eulogy with 'Uncle Tom Died...' And I realized that now all my close pals, back through San Francisco days even before I met PJ or Martin are gone, and there is no one left to talk to here in same way I always did with Martin.

When PJ arrived home the evening of Masae's call, she reminded me that, even though we had dinner with Martin and Masae ,along with Kevin and Lauren just before New Year, it was Tristan who had last contact with Martin. Martin confirmed he could log on to photo site to see pictures of Caroline and Emma. And then I thought how strange the world of connections is. It was a photo of Marvin, an adorable corgi, who was only family member that Tristan and Laura had almost since their 2012 marriage, that announced twins to friends, Marvin' in his Giants bib and two Giants baby girl dresses behind. Guess interesting connect as well as disconnect is that Marvin died, so would never get to know the twins or they Marvin. At least Martin got to see pictures of Caroline and Emma.
Martin was godfather in San Francisco to both Tristan and Kevin. From time both could walk, we recall Martin holding their outstretched arms as they gingerly climbed up his legs to then be flipped over in mid air and land safely, but surprised with feet on floor and security of Martin's hands still holding their arms to ensure that safe landing. As years passed, Martin was always there for birthday dinners and other times to regale them with tales of his school day memories in England. 
And now, we all will always dearly miss Martin. But we know a smile will always appear as we reflect on his rich, full, inquisitive and renaissance man life both in San Francisco, as well as through all those wonderful stories of his life and times years before. Some of our photo Memories of Martin are posted on Forever Missed.
Posted by Masa ISHII on January 27, 2019
Highly intellectual yet very humble, quite sportive, and a wonderful gentleman, Martin was a mentor in my life. Still remember the days we went skiing together, having joyful conversation over dinner, having some serious discussions about the world. You left so many nice memories in my heart.
I will miss you for a long time.
Posted by Anita Denz on January 27, 2019
Always such a pleasure to share a leisurely repast, a fine vintage, and sparkling conversation with Martin and his lovely Masae and his dear friends, Julie Coplon and Bob Capan, who introduced us. And there were splendid evenings at Festa, too! Martin was the quintessential role model on how to live a truly full life. Loving thoughts to Masae....missing you, Martin!
Posted by Mary-Ann Buxton on January 21, 2019
Into your own sunset, Martin:
Your glider sparkles love
And celestial light mischievously forever.
Posted by Kris Schaeffer on January 20, 2019
Hello friends of Martin,
We are all shocked and sad to hear of his sudden death. I join you.
I recently had lunch with Martin at the Marines Memorial Club. Actually, it was lunch, post-lunch, evening ease-in time watching the sunset. We had a great conversation because I asked Martin just one question -- tell me about your life, I want to hear it all. Modestly, he initially protested. But then, he got on a roll. I heard about his high school "conversion" to be an agnostic. Quickly, he needed to became a boxer. About his days with LS&Co and the double bind they put him in. (On his first day of work at LS&Co., he was in my workshop. We were imprinted forever.) And then his many jobs after LS&Co.
He joked. He was a British soldier and the US Marines let him into the club because he was born on July 4.
He showed me his mental nimbleness when encountering new jobs and challenges. Martin did the first-person research to learn how things worked. And, as you know, he conquered physical feats such as running and hang gliding. But also the intellectual pursuits of writing haiku and long papers on philosophy and politics. Martin shared his 10 Great Questions and Ideas. I have slowly discussed them with him. I have not yet been able to replicate these for myself. But it just illustrated for me how Martin lived the axiom -- "An unexamined life is not worth living." Few live their whole lives with mind, body, heart, and soul. Here was Martin in my life from 1976 to serve as a model for me.
He certainly made his life worth living and showed me how it's done. Martin is one of the reasons I have no fear about "retiring." His calling was continuous, holistic learning. So is mine. Different forms and subjects. Same pursuit of knowledge and values.
Martin, I know that you will continue as my wise guide. Love to you, Kris
Posted by Rob Reiter on January 20, 2019
Many a good memory of the times and flights we had together, Martin. Twenty years or so, at least. You lived your life to the fullest and were an inspiration to me, and to others, too, I'm sure. Sailing, flying, bike riding, skiing-you always had something going on. And thanks, too, for the many wonderful dinners and parties you and Masae hosted in your beautiful home.
Posted by Tony Randall on January 20, 2019
There is an old saying "make new friends, keep the old, these are silver, those are gold". Your friendship Martin was a golden one for me, forged 65 years ago at Merchant Taylors School, UK, when we played rugby together and boxed, enduring not only the passing of time but the crossing of our lives in England, Belgium and the USA.
Despite excelling at an astonishing range of sporting and cultural activities, you never allowed these to distract you from your loyalty to your friends. In your wisdom, Martin, you understood that the pursuit of happiness is not selfish if it includes friendship and compassion for others.
Posted by Roderick Macdonald on January 18, 2019
We shared military parachuting, hang-gliding, cycling, boxing, running, skiing, Cogers, Queen’s Club and a love of Israel dear Martin. But our fondest memory will be from the Festa Karaoke Bar when you stood up on the stage and sang a beautiful love song in Japanese to your lovely Masae Matsumoto. It brought tears to our eyes. You were a very special person Martin and greatly loved. Deborah and I miss you so much ……….
Posted by Patrick Alexander on January 18, 2019
Martin was a true friend and neighbor. A kind and generous gentleman, with a range of amazing talents, intellect, and accomplishments. A great sense of humor and a witty conversationalist.
Tu me manques.
Patrick Alexander
Posted by Norman Macleod on January 18, 2019
May you continue on as before!
“Take the adventure, heed the call, now ere the irrevocable moment passes! !”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Posted by John McCorkindale on January 17, 2019
I always enjoyed talking to you, Martin, with your immense appreciation for life and it's mysteries. I simply cannot believe you're gone. You always seemed twenty years younger than your age.
I wish you smooth passage on your last flight West, old friend.
Posted by Alan Sakayama on January 17, 2019
Yasuraka ni nemuru. Rest in peace Martin. You will be greatly missed.
Posted by Constance McCarthy on January 17, 2019
A wonderful neighbor and true gentleman. I will miss our chats your infectious smile and chuckle. Rest Martin.
Posted by Eves Tall Chief on January 17, 2019
WoW what a shame he indeed was a real gentleman from across the pond and was a boxer with the guy that played superman Christopher Reves while in college,always a friend when one met him and could host a great party at his home we shall always miss him RIP ole chap Denise & etc.etc.
Posted by Enzo Fatica on January 17, 2019
The nicest most humble Man you could of ever met!!!!
Posted by John Lawrence on January 17, 2019
well Martin, I shall think of you up there spiritually, Riding on the Wind with that fierce chuckle. were almost exactly one year older than me, but we became firm friends at Oxford, in the gym and ringside in many a rumble. Your explosive punching power as a boxer is a matter of record, and I still have the cuttings from many newspapers that marveled at your warrior-ness. But we enjoyed undergraduate freedom and long evenings of beer, darts and peaceful , though passionate argument. I enjoyed retelling you often about the time I came late in through the window of your digs, skipped across your bed to my usual sofa at the back, only to hear shocked shouts in the dark asking me who I was and what was I doing… I dived back out of the window onto the lawn, and ran, only to find out some days later that you had moved…we stayed in touch since, thanks to your grace and tolerance for our different views on some things…and would reminisce regularly, especially at Christmas when we last spoke …my heavy heart still has room for great warmth and outreach to your other friends, family and of course Masae, on whose shoulder my tears rest for this moment…Finally, this green beret salutes the best red beret I ever knew. Soar mate, soar!
Posted by Don Saito on January 17, 2019
Gonna miss ya, Martin. You were a one of a kind, and it was my very great honor to have known you. Thank you for being my friend.
Posted by John Marshall on January 17, 2019
Martin was my dear friend since I arrived in Tokyo 45 years ago. We shared many activities – dinghy sailing, skiing (which he was much better at than me) and our beach house where he would entertain us with his tuba playing. He really loved Japan and its culture – our onsen explorations were a favourite of his. When he changed jobs and left he would always find a way to be sent back again.
He worked hard to learn Japanese and became fluent although as his teacher was from older generation there was a certain quaintness which only Martin could have made entertaining.
My strong memory of Martin was his intense enthusiasm about any of the many activities he was doing and a loyalty and kindness to his friends. I had personal experience of this when after my dingy capsized in heavy weather he came to my rescue. He was the kind of Guy you wanted to have by your side in the trenches under fire
Posted by Dan Brown on January 16, 2019
Hang gliding, sailing, skiing companion, friend. Gentleman to whom it made no difference if you were an admiral or hang gliding pilot living in a van. Never had a bad word about anyone other than the “evil dwarf”. Martin was such a good friend that I didn’t confine his voluminous “evil dwarf” e-mails to my spam folder. He listened patiently to my lawyerly advise to cease and desist and then ignored it.
Martin had some bad habits impossible to break deserving mention lest we become too maudlin. When at the helm of my boat and wanting to tack, he would say: “ready about”, “prepare to tack”, “helms a’lee, “lee ho” never learning the proper American command: “you ready” responded to by “yeah”. Before getting on board the boat, he would shout: “coming on board” even when I was helping him get on board. When riding on a ski lift chair, he would sing obscure and unfortunately unforgotten British music hall songs. His linguist abilities were overrated. He could not pronounce “schedule”, “controversy” and “Renaissance”.
Now we sail without him but with a wonderful legacy of memories.
Posted by Philip Gioia on January 15, 2019
Gentleman, wizard intellect, athlete, fascinating conversationalist, fellow soldier.
All these and so much more.
A rare blend of self-confidence and charm in a turbulent world.
You will be missed.
Posted by Ben Naumann on January 15, 2019
Thank you for taking care of me when Y + P were away. I so enjoyed snuggling with you. I will miss your lap.
Love Ben (aka Orlando the marmalade cat)

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Greg Pritchard on April 6, 2020
I did not know 'till now. You were a dear friend to me and my family
and especially to our departed son Benjamin who you are with now.
Our great times together at Lake Tahoe will always be remembered.
God Bless You.
Love to Masai
Posted by Liz Hodgkinson on January 2, 2020
I have only just learned of Martin's death. I knew him in Newcastle in the 1960s when he was working at Proctor and Gamble, and then we got back in touch in later years. Martin always seemed so full of life, so multi-faceted and was extremely sporting and lively right to the end. I had no idea he was even ill.
Posted by Tamsin Booth on September 18, 2019
Dearest Martin,
We are so sorry - We only just learned of your death. We have known you all our lives, so our lives will have a little bit of fun and light missing without you. We know you were such a special friend to Mum & Dad too. All our memories with you are filled with living life to the full at 100 miles an hour - skiing, running, sailing, singing, dinners, parties - I know mum loved to party with you! London, Brussels, Tokyo, San Francisco....I am so thankful we were able to have a last bit of fun with you last year in San Fran. We will miss you so, so much. Sending this with so much love. Tamsin and Esther xxxxx
his Life

Martin David Beresford

Martin Beresford was born in London on July 4, 1937 and was evacuated to Somerset during the Blitz in World War II. In 1948 he won a county scholarship to Merchant Taylors’ School, where he was captain of rugby and boxing, a sergeant in the CCF, played violin, and won a scholarship in classics to St. John’s College, Oxford. 

After serving as a Lieutenant and Platoon Commander in the Parachute Regiment, he studied PPE at Oxford University, where he won a Boxing Blue and was a member of Vincent’s Club. He lived mainly overseas, but maintained a huge respect for Merchant Taylors’, played rugby for the OMTs, and enjoyed lifelong friendships with many of his MTS classmates, largely through the once-infamous Rollers’ Club. 

Martin began his business career in consumer marketing, as a research analyst with Attwood Statistics, as a Brand Manager in Procter & Gamble and as a Marketing Director in Schweppes, and subsequently as a management consultant with McKinsey in London, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, where he developed a growing interest in Japanese culture and Zen Buddhism. He spoke and read Japanese and published widely on the Japanese economy, corporate strategy and economic development. During the jeans boom, he worked with Levi Strauss in Japan, Europe and San Francisco, where he became a US citizen and developed a strong interest in technology and capital markets. 

While with Levi’s, he completed his doctoral thesis on Japan’s foreign direct investment, and in 1985 he joined the financial sector as a General Manager with S.G. Warburg, as a Vice President with Morgan Stanley, as President of Nichibei America, specializing in US-Japan technology and capital flows, and as a director of KMV Corporation, a San Francisco financial technology startup, where he was head of KMV Asia in Tokyo. He retired in 2002 when KMV was acquired by Moody’s. 

While at MTS, he declined confirmation in the Church of England, and spent much of his life seeking alternative insights into the mysteries of creation, consciousness and responsibility. In London, he was active in the Society for Psychical Research and in the European Movement, and he maintained a lifelong interest in European unity. He was a life member of the Parachute Regiment Association, and in San Francisco he was active in the Queen’s Club, an association of military officers supporting veterans’ causes, and as a volunteer with the Veterans’ Hospital. He served as a director of the Japan Society of Northern California and as International Committee chairman in the SF Chamber of Commerce. He was a director of the Marina Community Association and the Presidio Planning Association, and published “A Brief History of the Presidio” and “Defending the Presidio”. He supported libertarian causes including the Cato Institute, and published “Civilization and Commitment”, an essay on cultural relativism. A strong admirer of Israel, he supported pro-Israel causes, published “The Arab-Israeli Conflict” and “Why Support Israel?” and served as a volunteer on IDF bases in Israel with Volunteers for Israel. 

An advanced hang glider pilot, he was active in the US Hang Gliding Association and local hang gliding clubs, and published “Flying Geezer - Hang Gliding at 70” and “Riding on the Wind”, a book of haiku. A marathon runner, he also loved skiing, sailing, dancing, music, poetry, cats and wine. He enjoyed visual arts and published “A Layman’s Look at Contemporary Art”. He played tuba, sang with the Tokyo International Singers, and he was formerly an amateur boxer. He enjoyed many friendships around the world, and is survived by his sister, Susan Marshall, and his wife Masae Matsumoto, with whom he fell in love on the ski slopes at Naeba, Japan.

Martin's photos of his adventures may be viewed on:

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Flying higher than on earth

Shared by Julie Coplon on July 4, 2019

Missing you, and the fabulous celebrations we used to share on your birthday.