Obituary: Martha Kimball, 1932-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Martha Kimball, 1932-2021

Known for a friendly smile and kind words, a great-grandmother exhibited fortitude until the end

Published June 10, 2021 at 6:10 a.m.
Updated June 10, 2021 at 12:53 p.m.

Martha Kimball - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Martha Kimball
Martha “Marty” (Seaver) Kimball, 89, daughter of William and Inez (Waite) Seaver and a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, exhibiting fortitude to the end, passed away at camp on June 7, 2021. Marty was raised in Melrose, Mass., and followed in her oldest sister Priscilla’s footsteps to Mount Holyoke College, graduating in 1953. The sisters had emulated their trailblazing mother, who left the family farm in Woodstock, Vt., and later graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1916. Marty lost Priscilla much too soon, in 1969, but was fortunate to have had her cherished older sister Anne in her life for over 80 years. As adults, their five-year age difference seemed more like five minutes, as they spent countless hours together and were affectionately referred to as the “Seaver twins.”

During college, Marty dated an old classmate of Anne’s from Melrose, Army corporal Richard “Dick” Kimball. The combination of Dick’s charm, his uniform and his ability to procure inexpensive cigarettes from the PX was the magic elixir that led to a wonderful life together of more than 60 years. The two raised their children at their home in Lexington, Mass., and at camp at Spalding's Bay in Colchester, Vt. As empty nesters, they went on vacations to Florida and the Caribbean when they wanted to get warm and to Europe when they wanted to get cultured.

Marty doted on her children, packing their school lunches before getting herself off to work, preparing supper (including dessert), washing their sheets on Thursdays (the days the kids didn’t have to make their beds), etc., etc. Fortunately, her children were visual, not tactile, learners and after years of observation were able to fend for themselves upon reaching adulthood. On weekends, she took her kids to pick berries behind the school, to catch pollywogs at the swamp, and to the ocean, where she allowed them to take home seashells and seaweed. And she took them to just about every historical site in Massachusetts and Vermont. As a grandmother, Marty played board games, card games, video games, Ping-Pong, badminton and virtually anything else her grandkids asked her to play. She attended every sporting event and school event possible while splitting her time between Vermont and Massachusetts. The adoration and admiration between the two generations was mutual.

With a friendly smile and kind words, Marty brightened the days of those she crossed paths with on Beach Road, Gleason Road and every road she ever traversed. She constantly lent a helping hand, providing meals, delivering flowers, and driving old friends and new acquaintances to appointments around town. Martha (how she was known in Lexington) was a member of Pilgrim Congregational Church for over 50 years, where she was actively involved with the Mission Committee, leader of the Care Committee, and the driving force behind the church becoming an Open and Affirming congregation.

Marty is survived by her son Bob Kimball and his wife, Krissie; son Tom Kimball; and daughter Emily Collins and her husband, Tom. She is survived by grandchildren Tom Kimball and his wife, Perry; Amanda Clere and her husband, James; Rick Lania and his wife, Abby; Tony Lania and his fiancé, Arley Donovan; and Bobby Lania; as well as great-grandchildren Will and Katie Clere, and Martha Kimball; and ”my friend Norm” Pellerin, who was kind and devoted to Marty after her return to Vermont. She also leaves many nieces and nephews and their spouses; grand-nieces and grand-nephews and their spouses; and great-grand-nieces and great-grand-nephews, all of whom she loved with all her heart.

She was predeceased by her husband, Dick, and her son Kenny.

A celebration of Marty's life will be held at a later time. Contributions may be made in Marty's memory to Esperanza-Hope for the Children, Inc., 19 W. View Lane, Stow, MA 01775, or to PathwaysVermont, 50 Main St., #127, Winooski, VT 05404.

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