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Carol J Marti was born December 22, 1942 in Waterbury, daughter of the late Francis and Doris (Plum) Withey. She was the loving wife for 55 years of Richard A. Marti and sister of Agnes "Rusty" (Withey) Bedard of Virginia Beach, VA.
She leaves her four children, Richard Marti Jr of Watertown, Krista (Marti) Matthews and her husband Gerry of Middlebury, Kenneth Marti and his wife Dawn (Brooks) of Goshen, and Karen (Marti) Nocera and her husband Robert of Middlebury. Nothing was more important to Carol than her loving family, she will be remembered by her beloved grandchildren Zachary, Bailey, Julian and Cannon Marti; Arielle (Matthews) Shore, Colten and Noah Matthews; Nicholas, Samuel, Benjamin, Alexander and Ava Marti; and Andrew, Jakeb and Joshua Nocera.
Carol's life was filled with many blessings. It was heartbreaking to watch her journey through Alzheimer's as she forgot her magical life piece by piece. She attended Waterbury Catholic High where her lifelong passion for the arts was initiated. She worked for many years in the insurance industry but her true passions were her family and her art. She was a founding member of The Rogues Artist Group, which she hosted for over 15 years. First at her home and later at her gallery, the 550 Gallery and Studios in Bethlehem. She shared her talents with many in the community and was very gifted. Her loving heart inspired those around her to look at life as though it was a treasure trove of glorious opportunity. Make art, don't be afraid to make a mess, and create beauty wherever and whenever you can. Her home was always a gathering spot where anyone who entered was welcome and offered a safe haven along with a delicious homemade baked good. Her friends and family were encouraged to come often, stay long and feel loved.
Carol Jean (Withey) Marti, passed away peacefully at the age of 74, surrounded by her family, on October 27, 2017 after her long struggle with Alzheimer's Disease.
When Mom first started struggling with alzheimer's, we had no clue what to expect. As her disease progressed it became clear that she was losing pieces of herself bit by bit. We all knew that she would one day not remember who we were, but we were so devastated the day that she asked, "why didn't anyone ever tell me that I have children". She was forgetting who SHE was!! Her memory would get worse as time went by. First she'd forget how to drive home, repeat herself and no longer remember how to create recipes that she had long known by heart. As time progressed, our hearts were torn out as she'd struggle so desperately to remember her grandchildren's names, which utensil to use during a meal, or how to appropriately dress herself. We are speaking of a woman with incredible grace and pride and the way she presented herself to the world was a part of her beautifully artistic spirit... and she was fading away. Those who knew her, knew that she was full of elegance and dignity, yet no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't really be "herself" any longer. Eventually she forgot how to form sentences that made sense, feed herself and all the other things we just take for granted. The quality of her life was being stripped away.
A month before her passing, she had a day trip outside of the nursing home to visit her gallery. Her family was once again having an annual fundraising event, The Empty Bowls, Bethlehem, CT which she was a founding member, in the Bethlehem community. Her desire to help people was part of her nature and was evident that day as she beamed with delight during the event. She somehow knew that it was a special day which honored her life. She clearly felt like the matriarch once again, even if only for a few moments. She danced with her grandson and smiled at the guests. Even though she did not understand the event, she knew that she was loved and cherished.
The last 2 weeks of her life her condition deteriorated at a much faster pace. We would all hold her hand, pray with her, play her favorite music, and share stories with her of the magic and beauty of her life. She is no longer suffering and tormented by this terrible disease. May she rest in peace.
People should not have to suffer through this heart wrenching disease that takes everything from you; your memories, your freedom and eventually your life...... We pray and hope that someday there will be a cure. Would you join us in donating today to see if a cure could be found soon? It could save you or your loved ones someday...
With love from her granddaughter, Arielle
To the woman who taught me to see beyond
Beyond the lens of the realistic
Today I need that reminder especially
You showed me the subtleties of the creative
Made me fall in love with the cracks in the clay
You formed those cracks into vessels
And that was magic to me
You held my heart
In many pieces scattered among the treasure trove of your art collections
Hidden in plain sight in every corner of your home
When I was little I remember snuggling so close to you that I was convinced I was only breathing in your warmed air
A sacred breath
I felt lucky to be engulfing it
In many ways, we were immersed in each other
A balance of love and coveted memories
The scent of oil paint on August days in a wooden studio with sunflowers waving through the windows
The taste of peppermint leaves from the garden which was mostly just mint anyway
The homemade cream of wheat on a gas stove with a brown sugar volcano and hand kneaded bread
Endless cans of root beer from a dark basement closet
Drawers and dressers and cabinets filled with every art material imaginable
You gave me infinite possibilities for creating
Long fingers adorned with metallic stacks that entwined my own hands tightly and often
Fingers that showed me to hold a paintbrush, to dance with colors, and to bring the depths of my mind to life
Thank you for sharing these gifts with me
Your grace and eloquence flooded out of you
A natural essence that allowed you float within this world
It lingers here within us all
You always gifted me with angel ornaments to adorn my life and today you gave me the most important one yet
I hope you get to meet my new little soul as you both travel through the in between
Enjoy the enchanted realms together
From Judy Bird, member of the Rogues
A Magical Art Spirit, a very dear one, has left our world. She had the inspiration, space and nurturance to bring together a wonderful group of artists and friends. The Rogues received many gifts, through the years from Carol's wonderful and generous offerings Carol had open arms, a wide smile, her laughter came easily, even as she shared life challenges. She seemed always joyful to have a room full of artists, freely doing what they do. Stay longer, eat more, come again. One never knows ahead when there will be an ending to something so sweet in their lives.
I am extremely grateful for being invited to the art group so many years ago, when we met in Carol and Dick's garage. I have enjoyed the company of all of you, and our models, and I attribute this to Carol! I have one tiny painting, from the Artist Trading Cards, by Carol, that hangs on my wall.....and I will always cherish and remember.
Carol, may you pick up your many art materials, freely and joyfully continue to create your visions, give your Love, offer your heart, in the Mystery that lies just beyond us all.