Arabella Prescott Martin (nee Morgan)
Born August 16, 1929, Died May 16, 2021
The Martin family are saddened to announce the peaceful, at home death of their beloved matriarch, Arabella Prescott Martin, after several months of illness.
Mom was born in Cincinnati to Beatrice Rose (nee Hewitt) and Daniel Treadwell Morgan, the 2nd youngest of 8 children. She was raised in Cincinnati, OH, Severna Park, MD, and Sharon, MA. Mom was a proud graduate of the Millard Filmore School of Nursing in Buffalo, NY, where she met her husband, Charles Martin. Mom and Dad ended up in Richmond, Virgina, where Michael was born, and shortly thereafter traded the US East Coast for the Canadian West Coast city of Vancouver, where Lisa, Kerry and Michele were born. Mom worked at the new Centennial Pavillion at VGH, doing nights as a private duty nurse. She also nursed at Mount St. Joseph’s and Banfield Pavillion, and had many fond memories of the close-knit Banfield crew. In addition to being an exemplary wife and mother, Mom was a nurturing, empathetic, and non-judgmental caregiver for many “strays” and we often had additional kids and young people around. Mom was a talented artist (sketching) and skilled at crafts—she could sew and knit and crochet and create with the best of them. In fact, it seemed to us that she could do almost anything with equal ease, whether it was rewiring a lamp or upholstering chairs, or chopping wood or tending fires at Cultus Lake or Walloper, or teaching herself to weave or speak French. She was a great cook, and an excellent baker—we loved her cinnamon buns, pies and homemade bread, often eating them up as fast as she could bake them. She was also smart, articulate, and a well-read, voracious reader, and in later years always had her books on tape and her Tablet nearby. We used to tease Mom because sometimes jokes went right over her head, yet she was witty and funny as hell, mostly because she didn’t know how funny she truly was. Mom also had the rare gift of being able to make even mundane things, like burning garbage, into fun and memorable occasions. She genuinely enjoyed spending time with us, even as teens, and was always our best friend and our champion. Mom gave so much of herself to those around her. She was an enthusiastic and much loved Brown Owl in the late 60’s and 70’s for the 122nd Brownie Pack, out of Hastings School and later Our Lady of Sorrows. So many of our friends had fond memories of Mom such that when we went to high school reunions, the first question was not, “How are you?”, but rather, “How is your Mom?”
We were blessed and privileged to have had Mom in our lives till her 91st year and so grateful that she was able to connect with us almost right up to the end, and that we had those extra few months with her that were such an unexpected gift. She is survived by her loving husband of 67 years, Charles, her children Michael, Kerry (Nathalie, who was with us every step of the way), and Michele, her grandchildren Keri (Dave), Rebecca (Trevor), Morgan, and Cassandra (Clay), as well as her much adored great-grandchildren, Amira and Alexander. She is also survived by her sister, Margy, as well as over 50 nieces and nephews. Mom was predeceased by her baby daughter, Lisa, as well as her siblings Patty, Betty, Bea, Jimmy, Denny, and Dan, her faithful canine buddies, Beau and Rusty, and her feline pal, Tuxedo. One of Mom’s few regrets was that because of COVID, she was not able to spend more time in person with her grandchildren and great grandchildren and her extended family back East. She was, however, able to speak regularly by phone with her baby sister Margy, and her nieces, Mary Bea and Sarah, which conversations she so looked forward to and gave her much joy and comfort, and laughter in shared memories. Mom will also be missed by her “Mexican daughter”, Deb Spring, whose solid presence even from afar continues to provide such loving support, and her fellow Canuck-loving, hockey buddy, Irvin Grant.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Palliative Care Team at Evergreen Home Health and the Home Support Workers who provided exceptional care to Mom over a period of several months. We could not have honoured Mom’s wishes to be at home without their compassionate guidance and wisdom, especially Dr. Marion Chen, CRN Scott, and Nurses Katie, Lester, Charmaine, and Carolyn as well as the wonderful Shift Care Nurse, Thuy. We would also like to thank our family doctor, Dr. Mitra Motamedi, who provided such good care over the years to Mom, as well as our dear friends, George and Pearl Rathbone, who called and spoke with Mom regularly, and Mom’s special long-time friend and former co-worker, Doreen Plouffe, who called and visited faithfully, and whose presence brought such joy to Mom’s last days. We’d also like to thank our brother Mike, who co-ordinated all aspects of Mom’s care as her primary caregiver and provided such loving care while doing so—we couldn’t have done it without you….
Mom died as she lived, peacefully, calmly and without any fuss, in our arms, with her adoring family present. Mom was the glue that held our family together, and her death has left a huge hole in our hearts that can never be filled. Luckily for us, she also left us a loving legacy of her caring and compassionate presence, and years of wonderful memories and shared stories and histories to sustain us through the sad times and grief. We love you Mom, and we are all so grateful that we had you in our lives. Be at peace, JC.
There will be no formal memorial service at this time and the family will advise of a Celebration of Arabella’s life when it is safe to gather once again.