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Susan Leslie Martin, age 54, of Bainbridge Island, WA unexpectedly passed away in her home from a massive stroke on Thursday, September 12th 2013.
Born, July 23rd 1959 in Berkeley, CA to parents James and Helen Martin of Pacific Grove, CA she grew up in Moraga, CA. There she graduated with Honors from Campolindo High School finding time to enjoy being an accomplished Junior Olympics Gymnast and Cheerleader (Boy, that girl could she dance!). Sue then went to Cal Poly State University to get a degree in Nutrition and later to Hayward State University to get a Paralegal Certificate. In adult years, she lived in Northern CA: Lafayette, Pleasant Hill, Pacific Grove and San Francisco, before moving to Bainbridge Island, WA five years ago to be closer to her sister, Beverly after a severe stroke landed her in ICU for 2 months, causing irreversible memory lost and other complications. On the Island Sue first lived at the Wyatt House Assisted Living Center, then after rehabilitation work she was able to move to her own place on the Island.
Even though health problems plagued Susan her entire life she had many successes. She had a long fruitful career as a Senior Legal Secretary for several prominent law firms in the SF Bay Area. On Bainbridge, she was a customer favorite Courtesy Clerk at Safeway. Susan also enjoyed volunteering at the Childrenís Hospital Bargain Boutique Thrift Store on the island which helped her tremendously in her initial rehabilitation. In her short life she also owned two homes, experienced travel to many exotic places, did modeling and had her own catering business.
Sue was one of The Islandís Favorite Characters. You often saw Sue out walking within downtown in her trademark baggy sweatshirt and khaki pants. Most of us would have been scared to go out walking if they had no memory but Sue bravely laughed it off frequently stopping people for directions to write directions on her Palm Pilot (her hand). When out with her there was never a time that at least five smiling people would honk and waive or stop to ask if she needed help finding her way again.
A true lover of all animals, particularly dogs, most if not all, Island dogs have been kissed and cuddled by her either while she was loading groceries into your car or if she saw you and your dog on one of her walks.
She was also well known for fighting just causes and doing good deed for others at any cost. Going shopping with Sue always took twice as long because she was always stopping to help carry a strangerís bag or tell them how beautiful they looked or just hold someoneís hand that was having a tough day. She campaigned to get better working conditions for her co-workers, spent nights staying up all with friends in need, accompanied people to doctor appts. to name just a few.
Her first stroke took so much away from Sue but also she blessed her with things too. She gained new courage to bravely face her challenges, inner peace and simplicity, ability to forgive, accept and love others unconditionally, and most importantly, a truly quirky sense of humor. These were all only possible to flourish with the continual support of her close friends and community supporting her which we deeply thank.
Susan is survived by: several cherished friends, her beloved cockatiel bird, Sydney and his two parakeet buddies, her sister and her partner, Beverly Martin and James Mitchell of Bainbridge Island, WA, her twin sister Pam Shekell and her family, Rick and Rachel of Bellevue, WA, parents, James and Helen Martin of Pacific Grove, CA and several other family members.
Predeceased by her close companion whom we take comfort knowing know she is now cuddling, Iris, the Wheaton Terrier.
Private Funeral Services will be entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home on Bainbridge.
Friends are invited to attend an informal Celebration of Life Open House on Sunday, September 29th, 2013 from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm at the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center at 370 Brien Dr. SE Bainbridge Island. We invite you to come and share your good times with her with other friends to help celebrate Susanís amazing and quirky life.
Friends are also invited to sign Sueís online guest book. If other information is needed email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In lieu of flowers donations are appreciated to www.paws.org on behalf of Susan L. Martin
Life is short, go hug your dog
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