Martha Gordon


image of Martha Gordon

Martha Gordon

Martha Gordon passed into the presence of her loving Savior on January 6, 2018, just two days before her 77th birthday, at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Washington, due to complications of cancer treatment.  She was surrounded by loving family and passed peacefully with full assurance of her heavenly home.

Martha was born January 8, 1941 in Los Angeles to Gene and Jane Seibert Fowler (later Boyd). She is preceded in death by her parents, and also her step parents Marjorie Fowler and Carlton Boyd. She is survived by her husband John, daughters Susan Allen and Jayne Bell, and her grandchildren Alexander Bell and Alanah Bell.

Martha lived the first half of her life in the southern California area, attending Hollywood High School. Her first love was nursing and she graduated from nurses’ training as a Registered Nurse, working in several capacities at both St. Joseph’s hospital in Burbank and Valley Presbyterian in Van Nuys. Her first marriage was to John Warme, producing daughters Susan and Jayne. In 1967, she met and married John Gordon, a dashing Marine, while working at Saint Joseph’s and they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in December 2017, just before her final illness.

In the mid-70’s, Martha and John moved the family to Washington State, where Martha worked 26 years at Overlake Hospital, most of those years as the night shift charge nurse in Labor and Delivery.  She was intelligent and capable, creative and talented, and incredibly hard-working.  Her generous, caring and supportive nature will be missed by all who knew her.

Martha, like her mother Jane, was remarkably talented and gifted in creating works of beauty. She will be remembered for  her many and varied craft projects, having completed hundreds of beautiful cross stitches, many quilts, and countless knitting, crocheting, and sewing projects. She built at least 7 large multi-storied, fully furnished dollhouses, complete with carpet and wallpaper, and one even had electrical wiring. She loved family celebrations and her wrapped gifts were works of art. She set beautiful tables and made every occasion festive and beautiful.  Her home Christmas decorations were awe-inspiring.

Martha loved animals and at various times tended a large menagerie of yard pets which included peacocks, ducks, chickens, turkeys, geese and goats, along with the more typical caged birds, dogs, and cats.  And in midlife, Martha discovered a love of scuba diving, even in the frigid Puget Sound, logging over sixty dives with daughter Sue over a 10 year period.

In her later life, Martha found a strong faith in Christ, and a loving church home as a member of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church in Kirkland, Washington. She also loved to attend Precepts Bible Studies at Crossroads Bible Church, and she lived her final years of failing health and increasing pain with grace and thankfulness.  She faced her cancer diagnosis with an optimistic fighting spirit and at the same time faith in God’s ultimate plan for her.

Her Memorial service will be held at Crossroads Bible Church, 15815 SE 37th Street, Bellevue, WA 98006 on January 20th at 2 PM, followed by a reception.








13 Responses to “Martha Gordon”

  • Janet Pohl says:

    Oh, dear Martha! I remember her cheerfulness and joy in the Lord even in the face of illness and pain, multitudinous doctor visits and difficult tests… and most of all her unstoppable sense of humor! She was funny!! How we loved her and how we will miss her!

  • Chris Lindblad says:

    We loved your mom and were so thankful that she was a member of our church as well as a caring friend. Her indomitable strength to keep going in spite of all she endured was such a testimony of God’s grace in her life. She will be missed but is the presence of Jesus and rejoicing in His great love for her.

  • Sue Allen says:

    Mom was probably the person I quarreled with more than anyone else. I hear this is not uncommon with mothers and daughters. But I loved her, admired her, and received countless blessings from her my whole life. She was a stabilizing force in my life and a constant loving support. She had an amazing capacity for forgiveness, never keeping score. I rarely apologized as I should have for my part of an argument, but I always knew she forgave me completely. Her love for my sister and I was the best example of a mother’s love, superseding all her other relationships. No matter what was going on with her, she would always first ask me how I was doing.
    It may sound cliché, but she was especially characterized by a giving spirit. She loved Christmas because she could give to everyone she knew, and she could give mounds of gifts to her family. Not only did she offer me anything of hers that I could possibly use, but she was always eager to give what she had to people she didn’t even know. She always wanted to pay for everything, even when it made no sense for her to do so (one cause of the frequent above-mentioned quarrels!).
    She was one of those rare people without an ounce of procrastination in her. If something had a deadline that was months away, then it needed to be done right now (more quarrelling, if it involved me).
    She was my scuba diving buddy for over 10 years. We took two diving vacations together to the Caribbean, but we also logged dozens of dives together in the frigid Puget Sound, each lugging a hundred pounds of gear into the water to see what we could see down there. We shared one of the highlights of my life when we finally succeeded in finding a Pacific Giant Octopus and followed her to her den and spent many precious minutes face to face (or arms and suckers) with her.
    In the later decades of her life, Mom found a solid faith in Christ, and we enjoyed fellowship in the same churches together. Toward the end of her life, as her sufferings multiplied, she told me that for the most part, when she prayed, she just expressed thanks to God for blessing her so abundantly. By the end she was very ready to leave this earth and be with her Savior. Her main concern was leaving her husband behind alone. It was a privilege to care for her in her final days as she could already see the light of eternity just ahead of her. I rejoice to think of her free from pain, free from sin, ever praising God.

  • Terri Simpson says:

    The brief time I knew Martha felt like a life time of friendship. Our lunches, visits, prayers, and hobbies knit us together. But oh how the stories of our early days as nurses held the hospital staff on nights in awe. Her stories, of course, topped them all, as did her life of love and concern for others.

  • John Gordon says:

    50 years wasn’t enough. It went too fast, we missed so much. We needed more time, more of being together. If you knew Martha you knew her smile, the cheer and joy she brought to every day. While beaten down by the cancer and pain her daily thoughts were of the girls, the grand kids, and me. The end note to a long and fulfilling life, it would not stop her love for her family. She told our girls to look out for me, take care of me. And she told me to take care of them. And to ‘get a dog’. She knew I needed a companion. She’d been my partner, friend, true and only love, from so early in our lives that she was literally my life, my reason. Others will write about her goodness, her genuine kindness, her joy of giving, of doing for others. I lived it, and loved her every day. If you’re religious, keep her wrapped in your prayers. If you’re not religious, think of her with warmth, goodwill, and kindness. Try to live each day as she lived her life.

  • Bob Kimberly says:

    As a friend of Martha’s husband, John, I only knew her tangentially, but even so I was aware of her giving spirit. In that spirit, I would like to add this poem as a tribute to her

    A Gift

    What a gift it can be
    to promote a smile
    when all seems glum,
    to generate a comment
    that lifts the spirit
    when thoughts are dark,
    to find a happy reason
    to dance about the room
    when the music’s done,
    to spot a break
    when clouds are grey
    that allows the sunshine through.
    What better gift can you give
    than to make a person smile?

    Bob Kimberly

  • Thelma Gascoyne says:

    I first saw Martha during her daughter Sue’s wedding. It was a simple but very beautiful Christian wedding, the best one I’ve ever been to. Many days later I complemented Sue about it and she told me that she and Martha organized it. That left me an impression that Martha must be very smart. Years later, Martha started to come to our church, Trinity Reformed. The moment we met we were just instant friends. We chatted in between services, during potlucks, baby showers, and other fellowships. There is no cultural or age barrier in her, she just accepts people as they are, she is very chatty, always in a good mood.

    The thing that I will remember her the most is when she was wearing this scarf in the church, trendy Seahawks colors that she made herself. I said to her that it is so pretty and right then and there asked me if I wanted it. She said “here you can have it”. My husband who saw us was so embarrassed that I took it. I took it because I know that Martha has a genuine giving spirit.

    Martha never showed any great sign of anger or resentment during her illness, a good example for all of us to follow. She was so calm and happy during her last days. She is truly a believer who loves our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • Bryn Frazier says:

    I had seen it all as a nurse when Martha….took Dr. Nudelman (young new MD) into the med room and shaved his very hairy neck. It bugged her so much that she finally one night took care to groom him! Oh my, we laughed about that for years! She was one of a kind and I really, really loved and respected her.

    –worked nights forever with Martha

  • Judy Irish says:

    I loved having Martha come to my quilt studio and work on her quilt with me–and of course sharing our faith together.

  • Laura Adams says:

    Martha was my labor and delivery nurse when I had Valerie. She was so fabulous in every way but the best thing was that she pulled some strings and got me my epidural by snagging the doctor before he went into a C-section! He was the only one on duty and she knew if she didn’t get it then, I wouldn’t get it! The best thing was that I wasn’t even having any contractions yet!! Best delivery of all 4 of my kids. She will be dearly missed by all! Love & prayers.

  • Bev Edwards says:

    I met Martha while attending Crossroads Precept Bible Study. We frequently helped with cleaning up after our study. Right away I saw Martha knew “how” to clean up and all I had to do was follow her instructions. In class she always had such a wise insight on Scripture. We both shared the reformed view which was very fun. I miss her now but look forward to our fun to come in all eternity.
    Love and blessings to her family who are missing her most at “this time.”

  • Claudia Joines says:

    Thank you Martha for your joy and service to our Precept Bible study class! You arrived early, made coffee, tended to the room. But most importantly, you warmly greeted each and everyone, every week. We miss you! Love, Claudia joines

  • Liz Allen says:

    [Martha] was an amazing charge nurse–she was our hero time and time again. She never lost her head and always knew what to do in a crisis. One time, one of our family practice docs who had very little experience was trying, unsuccessfully, to deliver a baby in distress with a vacuum. She wasn’t doing it correctly as she was kneeling on the foot of the bed. I called for your mom to come do something–and she very successfully brought this fiasco to a halt and called the obstetrician to come. She was always unflappable and energetic. She was always someone we could trust and look up to. She was one of the best nurses I’ve ever worked with without a doubt. She is greatly missed.

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