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TOPIC: Big Loss for Greenwood Beach Windsurfing Community

Big Loss for Greenwood Beach Windsurfing Community 2 months 1 week ago #1

  • Gerry
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I am sad to report that one of the mainstays of the Evanston windsurfing (and swimming) community, Marla Martin, passed away unexpectedly over the weekend. She had knee replacement surgery on Friday and died from a blood clot on Saturday. She had already planned a trip to Bonaire in 2019 with her new knee, but it was not to be.

Marla was one of the most friendly and outgoing people I have ever known, and her stoke for the sport was amazing. She arranged and went on multiple trips with her windsurfing friends, including multiple ABK clinics in Aruba (way back), Bonaire and Corpus - and she was always making more friends.

Marla will be greatly missed, I miss her already. I hope she is planing in heaven right now, maybe she will finally learn to jibe!!

Gerry

Big Loss for Greenwood Beach Windsurfing Community 2 months 1 week ago #2

  • Ady
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This is such a sad and unexpected news! She looked like a perfectly healthy and happy person when I saw her on my last Greenwood sailing, back in September. Its just not fair ! I’m so sorry!

Big Loss for Greenwood Beach Windsurfing Community 2 months 1 week ago #3

I'm in shock. If someone knows anything about services, please post.

Big Loss for Greenwood Beach Windsurfing Community 2 months 1 week ago #4

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Thanks for posting the news to this forum, Gerry. I found out on Sunday and am still processing this tremendous loss. Marla was indeed a lakefront institution. If she wasn't windsurfing, chances are you would see her walking her beagle, Myrtle, up and down the lakefront. She knew everyone at the lakefront, and when it came to windsurfing, she knew who was sailing out of what beach on what size sail and board. She was hands-down the lakefront's most reliable source of 'social media'! On top of all this, she was a beautiful human being -- always kind, always humble (in her self-deprecating way), always encouraging of others -- especially female windsurfers -- to stick with the sport. She loved windsurfing perhaps more than anyone I know.

On October 22, I showed up to Greenwood for a morning session, and I saw Marla there, with Myrtle in tow. I asked her if she was planning on going out, and with a huge smile, she told me that she sailed first thing that morning "before the wind got too crazy." (This was a favorite phrase of hers.) She told me that when she finished her session and was coming up from the beach, a female tourist excitedly flagged her down. "I have a picture of you! I have a picture of you!" she told Marla. The tourist asked for Marla's phone number so that she could send her the picture, and I asked Marla to forward me a copy. I'm so glad she did because this may well have been her last sail. "I'm just a tiny white speck to the right of the sun," she explained to me that Sunday morning, but as she told me this, her enthusiasm could hardly be contained. She was elated that a complete stranger had captured her doing what she loved most.

We will miss her dearly at Greenwood. But I suspect that a part of her will always remain.

Rest in peace.


IMG_2865.jpg

Big Loss for Greenwood Beach Windsurfing Community 2 months 1 week ago #5

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Thanks for this Chris, as you said her enthusiasm for windsurfing - and life in general - was really inspiring! I have this same picture on my phone, she was so happy about it. And that was indeed Marla's last sail.

I will be sure to post information about services, there are some folks working on it. She had no immediate family and no will so that makes it harder but they are hoping to pull something together between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Big Loss for Greenwood Beach Windsurfing Community 2 months 1 week ago #6

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Hi Everyone,

So it looks like there is a memorial service in the works for Sunday, December 3, at 11:30 a.m. at Greenwood Beach. When we get more info, we'll pass it along.

In the meantime, a number of us will be getting together this Friday night at the Firehouse Grill in Evanston to raise a glass (or two or three) to Marla. If you plan on going, please rsvp here so that we can give the restaurant a reliable head-count. Full details may be found on the rsvp page. When rsvp-ing, please indicate in the "comments" field how many will be in your party. You are also welcome to share in the comments field a favorite thought or memory of Marla, or one of your favorite "Marla-isms." There are no doubt many.

To add your name to the rsvp list, simply click the "+" sign next to where it says "participants."

Chris

Big Loss for Greenwood Beach Windsurfing Community 1 month 2 weeks ago #7

I was not able to be at Greenwood this past Sunday because of prior family engagement. Can anybody who was there summarize what went on? Good bye Marla.

Big Loss for Greenwood Beach Windsurfing Community 1 month 2 weeks ago #8

  • Gerry
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I went to Greenwood at 11:30, there was a sign up that the time changed to 2 p.m. and I couldn't make it at that time. The Greenwood gathering was followed by an open house at the YMCA, Marla was a swim coach there and taught hundreds of students. I did go to the event a couple of weeks ago, it was very well attended and no one can believe Marla is really gone!!

Here is a picture of her in Bonaire, she was very proud to be sailing a 96 liter board!!
marlainBonaire.jpg

Big Loss for Greenwood Beach Windsurfing Community 1 month 2 weeks ago #9

  • Chris
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Hi David,
I wasn't able to go to the Greenwood gathering, but I did go to the YMCA one, which was very nice. I heard from folks there that the Greenwood event was very well attended (50-100 people) and folks shared many stories of Marla. A number of different folks told me that as things were starting to wind down there, some waves started to wash up on shore, but there was no wind or boats to speak of. Sounded like a special moment. Then folks throw flower petals into the lake in her memory.

Brian Becharas who heads up the Evanston Windsurfing Association just posted some pictures of the Greenwood event. I'll PM you his contact info.

I'm still having chats with Marla in my head. I hear her asking if there's still another windsurfing day left in the season....
C.
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