Carol Jean Withey Marti

Carol Jean Marti, after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s, passed away peacefully at 4:40 AM Oct. 27, 2017. In lieu of flowers, we hope you would consider a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.
We would love for you to express your thoughts or share your photographs of Carol, Mom, Gramma, here in the comments.

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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…

To see some of Carol’s work, follow here >>>

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21 thoughts on “Carol Jean Withey Marti

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to our family with love and support. We feel blessed that my mother touched so many lives in a positive way. She was generous of spirit and quick to laugh. We are grateful that her struggle with Alzheimer’s has now ended. It is glorious to hear all your memories of her from her life before this terrible disease stole her from each of us. Please share your memories of her on this site or on the https://act.alz.org/goto/Carol_J_Marti tribute page. Our hearts are touched by all the beautiful memories! If you would like, you can add your name and a short message to our Guest Book. Thank you!

  4. Carol was a sweet special lady, so glad I got to care for her and be with her the remaining days of her life.!! She touched my heart.!!!♥️ Prayers to her special family, xoxo. May Carol Rest In Peace.

    1. Dick, every time you can’t find your glasses you will think ” what did Carol do with them?” and I’m sure, some other place, she’ll be smiling.

  5. Dear Dick, I remember well the first Empty Bowl that I attended and meeting you again after so many years. Then making the connection with Dot Halliwell who I was caregiver for at that time. I brought her up to see you and it was a magical afternoon for her and I got to meet Carol and realize that I went to school with her sister Rusty and already knew your sister Mary Jane but did not know she was your sister. I love days like that. Dot treasured the bowl that you gave her that day. If she was here she would want to express her sadness and relief for Carol too. I know how hard you and your family worked to keep Carol at home and the love and care that you showed her. Know that deep down she knew it too and sends her love everyday back to you. Be at peace and God Bless you all. Love, Holly Paternoster

  6. Saw your super twinkle eyes and gigantic smile swiftly pass by with a grateful energy of time. Godspeed loving mother of my dear friend.

  7. I’ll always thank my grandma for the many crazy food combinations like potato chips and tuna and for any artistic ability I learned in the countless hours of scultping and painting. She always made an effort to be around, and I will always miss her.

  8. Although the past few years are pieced together by bits and pieces of memories with grandma, I have a lifetime more of memorable moments which have truly impacted my life. She had a hunger to share her knowledge of things that truly made her happy. I remember spending hours with her learning how to knit, I was so excited that I could successfully knit a scarf I knitted one for my older brother for Christmas that year. I remember spending the days with her baking apple pies and searching through her house for all the good snacks. She also ALWAYS had kittens around the house (I still have Alley to this day). I think every one of her grandchildren and children have learned the appreciation of art because of her. I cannot express how luck I am to have been a part of her life.

  9. Grandma Carol, the woman who thought me to tie my shoes, along with many other valuable life lessons. As I went from being called Ben, to getting mixed up with Sam, then sweetie, which ultimately leaded to not knowing who I was, I saw this horrible disease take away the grandmother that I had known throughout my childhood. She was such a loving and caring lady who always looked out for me and kept me entertained whether it was taking me for walks outside, doing art with me, or keeping my young self from seeing the nude art models while spending days at the shop. I will miss her distinguishable laugh/chuckle that always put a smile on my face. Rest In Peace Gram, we will miss you.

  10. To the special lady who taught my children how to tie their shoes and so many other important life lessons, I will miss so many things about you.

    I envied your patience, how you would sit with the grandchildren for hours working with them to master tying their shoes, painting pictures, kneading bread, reading books~ whatever it was you would unselfishly devote all your attention to them. Never worrying about the mess they were making.

    You kept a welcoming home with warmth and conversation, no matter who popped in unannounced you would stop what you were doing to make them feel welcome. The environment you created in your home was designed to spend time with those people you cared about.

    You always knew how to comfort a baby/child and would always be willing to babysit last minute even if you had other plans.

    You loved so generously.

    You taught me to be creative, that you don’t need a pattern to sew~ many of the beautiful things you made were created in your own mind, on a whim. You taught me that you don’t need to follow a recipe~ delicious creations can be made from improvising and winging it.

    You taught me to take time to stop and smell the roses.

    You made the time to get to know your grandchildren- one on one.

    Last night, looking back on pictures from your lifetime, in almost every picture you had a beautiful smile on your face~ you taught me to smile for the camera!

    You told me that when you are dying you will never wish you spent more time cleaning your house, but would wish you spent more time with family and friends (this is my favorite).

    And a funny one (but kind of true) you once told me to never expect anything from your husband, that way on the occasion he does something it will be a nice surprise and you will avoid a lot of frustration.

    I learned the importance of not being so structured and to dance, even when people are watching….

    I will miss you my dear mother in law.
    XO Dawn

  11. Sitting on an airplane watching a fitting movie called Wilson about life and it’s adventure and the disconnect between people and the distraction we face by these tiny electronic boxes that detract from all social connections. I found myself engulfed in emotions as Wilson sat gripping the hand of his dying father waiting for a response of any sort. As brash and inconsiderate as this may sound, it put me back in the room with Grandma Carol waiting for any response to the loving family members that surrounded her. Wilson begged his father that before he passes, to tell him if he loved him. This was never a question I had to ask my grandmother because I knew the answer from day one. The amount of care that she imparted on each and every one of the grandkids was the most immense and genuine love that one could feel. Whether it was teaching us how to cook, my most fond memory with grandma making apple fritters and much more of a mess, or teaching the kids how to draw or work with clay.

    Although I was never even close to the most gifted artist in the family, that didn’t matter to grandma as long as we were having fun and trying our best. She taught me to be free and express myself in any way possible, something I’ve struggled with my whole life. Whether that was through various art forms or the questionable and entirely embarrassing family cross dressing sessions the cousins would partake in. If there is one thing I can say about the lessons that Grandma Carol taught me is don’t sweat the little things in life. If you’re going to make a mess cooking or painting, don’t worry about the mess until you have to and enjoy life in the moment. You can’t spend your whole life worrying about the small stuff or you’ll never be happy. I’ll never regret my choice to come home and say goodbye to such a wonderful women and influence on me and her interest it my music even when I was awful. Although it was probably purely coincidental, the small murmur after my horrible rendition of You Are My Sunshine, I like to think she heard and loved every second of it. Thanks for believing in all of us grandma and allowing us to be who we are today.

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. Mrs Marti was a wonderful neighbor and I remember the Marti gang well growing up on Hickory Lane in Watertown. My prayers are with you at this difficult time.

  13. I had the pleasure of meeting the Marti’s, through Krista. We moved to Connecticut when I was 9 and my younger brother was starting Kindergarten. As fate would have it my mom and Krista were room mother’s together and one of my mothers greatest friendships began. I am so grateful to have grown up with Krista as a second mother and now friend to me. I know she is the amazing woman she is today because of Carol and Dick.
    Grandma Carol had this beautiful way of looking at you and making you feel so special. She loved with her whole heart, and was gifted at showing you the beauty around you. I remember her big warm hugs, and they were big and warm even when she no longer remembered who I was.
    One of the greatest gifts Carol gave me was the ability to see my own beauty. Every time I saw her she made me feel special and beautiful. When I was particularly struggling in college, Carol invited me to pose for one of her drawing classes. Her work was stunning and allowed me to see myself in a new light. (I think she knew this would happen all along.) After the class she wanted me to take the drawing of myself, perhaps to always remember how beautifully others see me. She was amazingly gifted and special.
    I am so blessed to know her, to have experienced her love. And while I miss her dearly, I am so glad she is no longer suffering from the disease that stole pieces of her each year.

  14. Please accept my condolences to the Marti, Matthews, Nocera families.

    I got to know Carol a bit through the years, she would always come and say hello, ask about my kids…make sure she connected with you…if
    only for a minute.

    I think the lesson learned from her life is written above from her family, and especially her grandchildren….
    I am not a grandmother yet, but I will aspire to be one like Carol. xo

  15. Krista, Rich, Ken, Karen and Dick-

    Scott and I cannot express enough our sympathy for the loss of your loving and cherished mother who opened her home and heart to us. The connection of the Marti family is strong in our hearts as Scott and I each knew Carol individually prior to meeting each other and after our meeting. The Marti family connection has always been a strong bond for us. Carol and your family is in our thoughts and prayers always. We will remember Carol for her kind and open spirit. I can empathize first hand with your loss after losing my mother at age 74 this past December 27th to cancer and MS. Know that we are thinking of all of you as well. We are here and always will be. God bless.

    Heidi and Scott Godowski

  16. I so remember Carol when she and Dick first got together. Janie and I were good friends who walked to Baldwin school together. I feel your pain because my dad had Alzheimer’s and it was the hardest thing that my family ever endured. Please share my heartfelt thoughts with your family. She is finally at rest .

    1. It has taken me some time to gather my thoughts and send my love. Carol was so many things to me. She was this very talented artist who truly felt that anyone could do what she did!?! She was the mother of my very dear friend Krista so in turn, I felt the warm smile and laugh every time I walked into Krista’s home when Carol was there. She made me feel special and more important, special for Krista. As we watched her slip away, at least we could hear her laugh. I miss you Carol

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