Martha W. MacLaren (Martie), age 70, died October 24, 2015 at home. The cause was complications related to an acquired brain injury. Born on March 23, 1945 in Honolulu, HI Martie was the only child of Willard and Magrieta Wilson. Her father was professor of English and, for a time in the 1960’s, Acting President of the University of Hawaii. She graduated from Punahou School and was admitted to Wellesley College based partly on her proficiency in mathematics. However, her interests turned to psychology and social service. She was an accomplished soprano who enjoyed small chorus a cappella singing in college. Between her junior and senior years at Wellesley she married Harvard student Bill MacLaren before graduating in 1967. She and Bill sang with the Harvard Glee Club/Radcliffe Choral Society tour of Asia that summer.
In 1968, she entered a master’s degree program in social work at Howard University in Washington, DC. She was forced to leave when Bill was called to active duty with the Navy. Martie raised her three children as a Navy wife from 1969 until Bill’s retirement in 1995. Spending five years in Okinawa, Japan she became proficient in the art of Ikebana flower arranging and volunteered with the American Womens’ Welfare Association as well as Navy Relief. While living in northern Virginia during the mid-1980’s she earned an Associate’s Degree in Crisis Counseling at Northern Virginia Community College. Continuing her interest in social service, she volunteered at Zen Hospice, San Francisco in 1994 to provide support for terminally ill patients.
After returning to Pomfret, CT in 1995, Martie became a UCONN Master Gardener. She joined the Woodstock Area Garden Club and organized garden projects for the Colonel Daniel Putnam Association at Putnam Elms in Brooklyn, CT. She took great pleasure in designing horticultural features at her home at Tyrone Farm.
Martie is survived by her husband as well as daughter Catharine MacLaren of Portland, ME, sons Morgan MacLaren of Stafford, CT and Ian MacLaren, his wife Anne-Lise and their daughter Lucy of Pomfret Center, CT.
Martie’s family thanks her caregivers Carol Boggs-Bernier, Sharon Bernier, and Cheryl Antunes as well Dr. Heather Sullivan, Dr. Paul Matty, and APRN Kim Lane, for their continuum of care. Also greatly appreciated were the services of the Southern Worcester County Visiting Nurses.
Martie’s internment at Old Trinity Church in Brooklyn will occur at a later date. The family will hold a memorial service followed by a reception at Tyrone Farm in Pomfret beginning at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 14th. Memorial donations in her honor may be sent to The Woodstock Area Garden Club, PO Box 141, Woodstock, CT 06281. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church St., Putnam. For memorial guestbook please visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.