Dr. Martha Wasson Magoon passed away on November 16th, 2020. Her final days were peaceful, with her devoted husband, Dr. Elbert Magoon, by her side, while many other family members visited virtually.
Martha was born in Canton, Ohio, the eldest daughter of Dr. Paul and Martha Wasson. She graduated Glenwood High School before attending Wellesley College for one year before transferring to Yale University, joining the first class of women undergraduates. She graduated with a degree in Arts and Letters before attending Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she served as Chief Resident before fellowship in neonatology at UCSF. After training, she returned to Canton, Ohio where she spent her entire career serving the community that raised her.
While Martha held herself to the standard of a consummate physician—present, steady, capable—she managed to be a loving wife, daughter, sister, mother, and friend. She and Elbert raised their four children. She approached her family life consistent with her personality, namely with fierce devotion. As she put it, she was “in your corner.” Despite many demands, she managed to make time to attend to what was important for her children. She never missed a parent-teacher conference and attended countless Hoover High School sporting events.
While Martha had many accomplishments, her greatest skill may have been using her considerable social grace to put others at ease. She maintained this grace through nearly three decades of Parkinson’s Disease. As the disease progressed, she maintained her sense of humor and gratitude, while being clear eyed about what she was losing. She turned to poetry, watercolor, and conversations to cope. Her husband walked with her every step of the way.
She will be sorely missed, though her family takes solace that she is finally at peace.
Martha was preceded in death by her son David. She is survived by her husband Elbert; her children Anne, Katie, and Christopher; her daughter-in-law Alison; her siblings Barb, Paul, and David; her uncle Joe; her granddaughter Eleanor; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
An in-person funeral service will be delayed until it is safe to gather. A virtual memorial service will be held on Sunday November 22 at 2pm. Please contact the family for a link to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Michael J. Fox foundation at https://tribute.michaeljfox.org/tribute-page.php?id=1696&np=true