Laura Martin, 59, passed away peacefully on March 8th in her Langhorne, PA home, surrounded by family, after a courageous 26 month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Born in Washington D.C. to late parents Marvin and Helen Wechsler, she grew up in Fairfax, VA, a star student and graduate of W. T. Woodson High School before graduating from Michigan State with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
She spent her adulthood devoted to the service of others in a range of careers and volunteer capacities across hospitality, education and healthcare. It was in her first job in Overland Park, Kansas, that she met her devoted husband, Dwane. The two married in Arizona on 6/14/86 before sharing an undeniably fun adventure together spanning nearly 35 years. The two of them went on to live in 7 states, collecting countless friends and memories along the way. After beating breast cancer in 2006, Laura switched from cancer patient to professional, putting her distinctive empathy, patience, care, strength, and warm approachability to good use helping countless oncology patients along their journeys - something only she was so perfectly and
uniquely suited for.
Among Laura’s many roles, her favorite by far has always been, “Mom.” She poured her heart and soul into her family, proudly raising two children, Alyssa (32) and Christopher (28). She’s been stay-at-home mom, room mom, dance mom, sports mom, step-mom (to Derrick (49) and Jeanina (45)) and more - the kind of mom who was as much a trusted confidant and friend as she was a parent since her kids were young. In the past decade, she switched her sights on becoming a grandma, (in)famously known for “encouraging” (read pestering) Alyssa and scheming about ways to expedite her path to grandparenthood. Her granddaughter, Ellia, a pride and joy, was born on the one year anniversary of her pancreatic cancer diagnosis date, reframing the date into a happy memory of Laura (finally!) reaching a second life goal.
To all who knew her, Laura’s perhaps most characteristic trait was her humor. Her quick and clever wit could make people laugh, whether on Facebook or in person, even in challenging times. She approached life vibrantly and she inspired so many friends through her practical yet optimistic outlook on life, despite the cards she had been dealt. As organized as she was in her life, she was a notorious procrastinator and night owl, often doing her best work at the 11th hour, or, in many cases, after midnight. She had a knack for finding interesting stories, and it was not uncommon for her family and friends to awaken to a series of informative articles she shared long after they were sleeping. She was a nature lover and noticer, someone who would stop to admire flowers and was a sucker for a good sunset or rainbow. She had a particular fondness for elephants and her house was filled with figurines, stuffed animals and pictures of them. She enjoyed the simple things, like any excuse to enjoy a warm and sunny day or a good radio station. It was not uncommon to find her tapping her foot along to a beat, given her love of music.
Laura will be remembered for many things, but first and foremost as a selfless and loving wife, mother and friend. Her life will be celebrated and honored in a memorial gathering at a later time when people can convene safely. In the meantime, her family is eager to collect the cherished memories, stories, photos and videos of those who had the privilege of knowing her and ask that Laura’s circle contribute those memories here on the LifeWeb360 website they created to commemorate her legacy.
In addition to her husband Ed Dwane Martin, she will be missed greatly by her children Alyssa (Doug) Johnson of Yardley, PA and Christopher (Tiara) Martin of Randolph, NJ; granddaughter Ellia Johnson; her stepchildren Derrick (Cupid) Martin of Fort Worth, TX and Jeaninia (Greg Griffis) Martin of Fort Worth, TX; her brother John (Sarah) Wechsler of Dallas, TX; and many other beloved family and friends. Laura was preceded in death by her parents Marvin and Helen Wechsler and sister Wendy Feldman.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family graciously requests, on Laura’s behalf, that donations be made to:
● The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network: (link to donation)
● The Capital Health Foundation (designated for the Cancer Center): (link to donation)
The obituary is also listed on the funeral home site here