Martha Roberts Obituary –
Martha was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1929, the daughter of James and Martha Willcox. As she often said, she “brought on the great depression.” She was an independent thinker with an adventurous spirit and upon HS graduation, attended Wellesley College. When she returned home, she was given the choice to either get a job or get married. The latter sounded better than the former, so she married Cyrus D. Roberts in 1951. They had three young children in as many years. In time, Martha felt a strong calling to teach school and received her Master’s in Education from Syracuse University. She became a kindergarten teacher for seventeen years with underserved, poor students in city schools. She delighted in providing a place of acceptance and opportunity for her young students. Though her marriage to Cyrus didn’t last forever, they always remained the closest of friends. She had many happy years with her boyfriend, Sam Tanner, and after his death, she moved to Bainbridge Island to be closer to family.
Upon her arrival on the island, she became fast friends with many seniors who walked the local parks, explored Seattle by bus, played tennis indoors and out, and played bridge. She played tennis until the ripe old age of 88. She loved the game and the friends she met, especially her dear friend and “partner in crime” Joyce Depue, a creatively brilliant mind. After retiring from tennis, she walked for miles each day through Winslow and Fort Ward Park. She embraced the moment and loved the natural world, spending most summer afternoons at “Fay Bay” park and enjoying evening BBQ’s with her family on Lytle Beach.
In her final journey, Martha was supported by a loving group of dedicated caregivers from Visiting Angels. She received extraordinary care from the staff at Madrona House, as well as from her dedicated doctors at Virginia Mason clinic. Martha was well loved and will be remembered by her neighbors on Stonecress Lane as well as the many friends she made walking the island on her wonderful journey.
Martha’s extended family includes her daughters, Caroline Roberts (FL, MA) and Amy (Bill) Chamberlain, and her grandchildren Dr. Elizabeth Wright-Jin (MO), Dr. Catherine Wright (WY), Evan Chamberlain (engaged to Lilly Pease, NY) and Julia Chamberlain. Her great grandchildren include Nathaniel and Emma Jin. (MO) She was preceded in death by her beloved son, Cyrus R. Roberts. She had many nieces and nephews, all of whom added to her network of love and support.
A memorial gathering will be held in her honor at The Manor House on Saturday, April 27 from 2-4 pm. All those she touched are warmly welcomed to attend… please bring a story of Martha and an open heart.