On April 15, 2009, Norberta Kathryn Amey Martin passed away at Lady Minto Hospital at the age of 96. Born in Los Angeles in 1913, Norberta lived much of her early life in Oakland, California. She liked reminiscing about difficult times during the Great Depression, and before, when her father traveled to the West Coast seeking work; by age seven she was writing letters begging him to come home. After high-school graduation, she volunteered at the county offices to repay relief money the family had received during a particularly hard year. Subsequently she packed biscuits at the Oakland shredded wheat factory and worked for an accounting firm in San Francisco. She then enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1937 with a degree in accounting. At Berkeley’s Henry Morse Stevens Masonic Lodge, Norberta met fellow student and future husband Marvin Martin. The couple had had two children by the time Marvin was called to serve in World War II effort in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The happy years following the war saw Norberta and Marvin raising their family in Berkeley, California, then Livermore. The children grown, they moved to Tucson, Arizona, where Marvin held a professorship in aerospace engineering at the University of Arizona and Norberta was active with local organizations. Norberta and Marvin retired to Port Alberni, moving to Salt Spring Island in 1989. Norberta remained active on the Island until this year when she suffered a stroke and was confined to Lady Minto Hospital. She died from a second stroke.
She is remembered by her family for embracing scary sailing and flying adventures, for sustaining many, many friendships, for her elegant entertaining, for her sharp mind and impeccable taste, and for her unflagging love.
She will be remembered around the village for her ancient and shiny red pickup truck, for her appreciation of all things beautiful, and for her social enthusiasm and love of company.
Norberta is survived by her two children Douglas and Susan, seven grandchildren, and ten great -grandchildren.
Family and friends are invited to attend a tea party for Norberta on Sunday, May 31, 1:00 pm, at #5 Grace Point on Salt Spring Island. Parking at street level, please walk up to #5.