Sunday, July 26, 2009

Deanna's Obituary

Deanna (Dee) Lee Martin, 38, of Bradford, Ma died Thursday July 23, 2009 at the home of her mother in Auburn NH after a courageous eight year battle with leukemia. She was born January 21, 1971 in Lowell, MA. Dee graduated from Timberlane HS in 1990. She was a volunteer for the past several years for the Haverhill Meals on Wheels, serving as a driver, delivering meals to shut-ins. She was an active member of the Danville Baptist Church who loved camping and spending time with her family. Dee was a very special woman whose positive attitude and faith were an inspiration for all who met her.
She leaves her daughter, Danielle Gagnon, age 11 of Bradford, MA, her mother, Michele Mudge and her husband, David of Auburn, NH, her father, Steven Martin of Lowell, MA, her siblings, Rick LaFleur of NY, NY, Kimberly Hankey of Salem, NH, Anne Marie Gorter of Nooksack Wash, Laura Standing of Newton, NH, her stepsister Kandi Fabri of Quincy, MA, several nieces and nephews, Danielle's father and Dee's partner of 14 years, Jim Gagnon, and his daughter Sarah Gagnonof Bradford, MA.
The calling hours will be held Friday July 31st from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Peabody Funeral Home and Crematorium, 15 Birch St., Derry. The funeral services will be held Saturday August 1 at 2p.m. in the Danville Baptist Church, 226 Main St, Danville. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Danielle M. Gagnon Educational Fund; C/O any New Hampshire St. Mary's Bank.

One year, before Mother's Day, we took this photo from Michele (Rick's Mom). In order of birth, you see Kim, Rick, Laura and Deanna. The original photo was water damaged from a house fire they'd had in Danville when Rick was young. We brought it to Eagle Photo in Portsmouth where it was restored with another photo for a mere $60. Michele loved her Mother's day gift. This photo reminds me of how much younger Dee was than Rick, and that she was his baby sister.

This was taken during the first year I was dating Rick, and getting to know his family. Deanna was sweet and shy, with her beautiful little daughter Danielle whom she encouraged to play with her Uncle Rick. Deanna was always helping out her Mom and keeping a close eye on Danielle to be sure she was behaving. When Dee was ready to relax, she opened a lite beer and caught up with Laura first, and then all the rest of us. Dee and Laura were practically inseparable.

Rick and I bought our house in Portsmouth in December of 2001, and had a big party January 2002. Everyone had a great time but I didn't take any photos unfortunately. Weeks later Deanna was brought to the hospital and diagnosed with Leukemia. This photo was taken Father's Day that year, after chemo, radiation - all the treatments she had. I remember cutting her hair in the hospital in Boston after it started falling out. I love this picture because Danielle looks so innocent and happy that her mom was home.

Merry Christmas - Rick and I decided to have an adult cocktail party for Christmas - this was the weekend before Christmas. Dee was sweet to wear the Reindeer horns I got for all the girls. Laura pretty much refused. That's ok - we had fun :)

One day Deanna talked about how much she liked lobster. Rick decided he wanted to have a lobster bake in the back yard (even though he doesn't like lobster or any seafood at all). The last week of July the price of lobsters drops as the soft shells come in, so it makes the party very affordable. We did the lobster bake a few years in a row. Who ever came each year had fun, enjoyed the company and the lobsters.

I love this photo of Dee - it was taken at our wedding. I cropped this from one of the family shots - Rick was being silly and Dee was trying to keep a straight face :) It was such a fun day of dancing and celebrating :)

Michele took this photo at our wedding - Laura, Steve and Dee. Steve is Laura and Dee's father.

Another Christmas cocktail party - Dee and Laura in front of the Christmas tree - Dee's hair grew back red and gorgeous ;)

This is Christmas Eve 2007 - We all got together at Michele's as we usually did. Rick and I liked to come early since we were practically guaranteed an early quiet visit with Dave and Michele, as well as with Deanna and Danielle. The pre-party party :)

Summer 2008 I had my gall bladder out, and Deanna came and visited me in the hospital. When I got out, I spent a few days entertaining Jillian, my brother's daughter. Jillian and Danielle had great fun together, and it was awesome to have Deanna to help when I wasn't able to run around. We went to the beach a few times. She and I both wore funny hats to keep the sun off. Fortunately for me, I had the camera :)

Deanna - I know without a doubt you are in heaven now - I feel blessed that I got a chance to enjoy you while you were here. You will be missed.