Judith Martin

Obituary of Judith Ann Martin

Dr. Judith Ann Martin passed away peacefully, surrounded by friends and family, on June 6, 2024 at the age of 76, in Saskatoon. She is survived by her children: Megan Martin (James Bulliard) and Car Martin (Jason Aune); grandchildren Hugh Ambrose Martin and Edie Ambrose Martin; brothers Allen Martin (Gloria) and Earl Martin (Jane); sister-in-law Phyllis Martin; along with many beloved nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents: Isabel Robinson and Jack Martin; her brother Tom Martin (Phyllis); her sister Helen Martin and her nephew Ron Martin. Judy valued friendship immensely and nurtured a chosen family of loyal friends. In this she is survived by: Irma Grandon; Gail Stevens; Miki Mappin; Lynne Robertson; Lewis Katherine Williams; Frances Daw; Dianne MacDonald, and Yehia El-Nahas. Judy is predeceased by her dear friends: June Bantjes; Florence Flynn; Susan El-Nahas; Janice Kell; and Betsey and John Bury. 

Judy’s identity, and progressive politics, centered around her life as a mother. She took great joy in her children, encouraging their activities and creative pursuits, despite the demands of her work and being a lone parent. As they got older, Judy took her children on many interesting trips, and took time to know, love, and inspire their friends. Judy loved to bring people together at parties and potlucks, she loved music and dancing.

Judy was born in Balcarres, Saskatchewan on June 22, 1947, and raised on a farm near Ituna. Graduating high school, she received a Governor General's award. At the University of Saskatchewan, she earned a B.A. and then a Masters in Sociology in 1971. She taught sociology at Brandon University, then University of Alberta, through much of the ‘70s. In 1979, she completed an M.A. in Community Development at the University of Alberta, and became the Program Director of Community Development at the Saskatoon Regional Community College. She was passionately involved in the women’s movement, and became a leader in the national childcare movement, which continues to influence childcare policy in Canada to this day.

From 1986 to 1992, Judy was the Executive Director of the Saskatoon Community Clinic. From 1992 to 1996, she was Regional Director of the Saskatchewan Department of Social Services, and in 1997 she became the first Executive Director of the Work and Family Unit in the Saskatchewan Department of Labor. 

Judy loved her work. Through it, Judy expressed her desire for the world to be better for the least powerful. She loved the teamwork and strategizing of progressive politics, and could laugh about the uphill battles. In 2003, Judy completed her PhD in sociology at the University of Saskatchewan, a life-long ambition. In 2008, as the politics of the province became less progressive, Judy left government and consulted on participatory research projects while serving as adjunct faculty at the University of Saskatchewan. In her retirement she traveled, spent time with her children and friends, and wrote poetry and short stories. 

Judy spent the last years of her life battling Alzheimers, but her spirit and independence shone through. In this last chapter, she lived at Parkville Manor, where she loved the community. In her final months the wonderful women at St. Angela Merici Residence cared for her.

Judy will be remembered for her generosity of spirit, her intelligence, and her wonderful conversations. She was curious about everything, and oh, how she loved to laugh. 

Please join us in celebrating Judy on August 18th, 2024, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, at the Remai Art Gallery. See the memorial website https://memorial.jamcommunity.org/ to sign up for further details. 

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