In her 92nd year of indomitable spirit and enjoyment of life, Kathleen “Kay” Martin passed away in peace in the Vermont Respite House on June 18, 2014, with her family by her side. Kay was born in Burlington on June 17, 1922, the daughter of Florence (Aldrich) and Smith L. McNally. She graduated from Burlington High School in 1941, and went on to train as a registered nurse at the Fanny Allen School of Nursing, completing her studies in 1944. On Sept. 2, 1944, in Burlington’s Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Kay married the love of her life, Ernie Martin Jr., while he was home on a brief leave during W.W.II. Together, they forged a rich partnership and marriage, which lasted for more than 60 years, until his death in 2005. Kay loved her profession as a hospital and private duty nurse, often working at night so she could care for her growing family during the day. In addition, she supported Ernie through his long hours away from home while engaged in work and volunteer fire fighting. Kay was, by nature, an avid lifelong learner who loved to read, journal, do crossword puzzles, explore genealogy, debate, and travel, particularly to Maine and Florida. She also enjoyed being a “homemaker” and relished everything from shopping, redecorating and plants, to making beautiful wreaths and baskets. Kay’s fortitude and rock-solid faith saw her through untold personal challenges, joys, sorrows, and sheer hard work. She had a truly generous and kind heart, and gave freely of her time and energy to others. People responded in kind, none more exemplified then her loving and incomparable daughters-in-law who provided for so many of her needs, particularly during these last few years. Kay was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who experienced immense pleasure in the lives and accomplishments of her family. She was the conduit through which all family news and happenings traveled, and we valued deeply her role as the cornerstone of our family. We will miss her beyond words, and strive to carry the example of her life with us always. Among Kay’s survivors is Dr. Jeffrey Martin and his partner, Dr. Robert Smith, and their two daughters, Elyse and Taryn Martin-Smith, all of Charlotte. The family wishes to express our deepest gratitude to Dr. Patricia Whitney, Dr. Karen Sokol, and the entire staff of the Vermont Respite House, for their extra-ordinary care, availability, and emotional support, given not only to Kay, but also to each of us. For those who wish, memorial donations may be made to the Vermont Respite House, 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston, VT 05495; or Essex Junction Firefighters Association, 2 Lincoln St., Essex Junction, VT 05452.
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