Jean Marie Martin, ambassador of goodwill, sales professional, caretaker, biscotti baker, Scrabble master, gracious hostess, Wonder Woman, decorator, prankster, and creator of original but often slightly embarrassing nicknames, passed away peacefully on Saturday morning, August 1st, 2020, surrounded by loved ones at her home in Boca Raton.
Jean was born in Yonkers, New York, the 5th of 7 children. She moved to Boca Raton in 1969, with her family as part of the IBM immigration wave. Jean graduated from Boca Raton Community High School (Boca High) in 1978. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a 4.0 GPA in 2 ½ years.
Jean loved and was loved by many, and she is still loved by many. She is loved at Lake House South where she worked. She is loved at the American Legion where she volunteered and socialized. She is loved by her friends and her family.
Part of Jean’s secret for interpersonal relations was that she cared deeply about people and treated them equally. She complimented and lifted up people. She treated every human being with respect and compassion. As she used to say “Everyone has feelings.”
Jean took care of her aging parents, arranging meals, driving them to doctors’ appointments, and generally looking after their well-being. She was the Secretary for the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary. She packed gift boxes for soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. She organized parties. She especially loved Christmas. She was always courteous and supportive with the right touch of irreverence and humor. She loved shopping thrift stores with friends, searching for bargains, often finding treasures that she used to feather her nest in beautiful style. She had an eye for cake plates to share her homemade baked goods. She enjoyed boating and sailing, especially trips to the Bahamas. To be "Clear"!, she had a great sense of humor, and she did not like wrinkles.
Jean was generous throughout her life, willing to give away a prized possession if someone else admired it. Her latest act of generosity was that she showed us how to die with dignity and grace.
She is survived by her parents, Raymond and Marilyn Martin, her siblings; Margaret Gearhiser (William Gearhiser), Catherine Lee (Ronald Lee), Raymond Martin (Ling Martin), Mary Martin, William Martin (Ella Martin), and Marilyn Martin. She is also survived by twelve nieces and nephews, her Aunt Eileen, Uncle Mike, cousins, and cousinettes.
A measure of Jean’s character is the abundance of support she received from family and friends. Jean had a special bond with her beloved nephew and Godson, Jason Rietdorf. Jean wanted Jason by her side. He provided tremendous comfort, care, and strength throughout her battle with cancer. They had a standard joke where, ever since he was a young boy, Jean would ask Jason “Why are you so cute?” She trained him to answer, “Because I look like my Aunt Jean.”
Thank you to everyone, all the friends and family for your love and support.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 8 at Ascension Catholic Church in Boca Raton.
A second memorial service will be held at a later date and time to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy or donations in Jean’s name may be made to:
Boca Raton American Legion Post 277
141 NW 20th St. #F3
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Stand Down House,
Stand Down House opened its doors in May 2000 to provide emergency/transitional housing and supportive services for veterans struggling with addictions, mental illness, PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and physical limitations. We offer a short-term assistance program with a focus on recovery so that our veterans can transition to a stable future.