Thomas Jacob Martin passed away at 70, on March 14th, 2022, after a nine month battle with cancer, with his family at his side. He was born April 25, 1951, in Bronx, NY, the youngest of four siblings, to Jacob Friedman, of the Bronx, and Dorothea Sandri, of Vienna Austria.
Thomas attended PS108, developing lifelong friendships with his classmates and neighborhood boys. He spent his summers on his mother’s dairy farm in upstate NY.
He graduated from The Bronx High School of Science in 1969 and went on to receive a B.S. in Botany from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, before attending its Medical School.
He completed his internship and residency at Montefiore Medical Center/ Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Harlem Hospital in NYC. Following that he completed a Nephrology Fellowship at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
In 1982 he married the love of his life, Deborah Reilly. His first practice was in Easton, PA, from 1985 to 1991, and then on a somewhat spontaneous impulse they decided to move to the PNW, landing in Tacoma, WA, where he joined a medical practice which became his own practice, Evergreen Nephrology Associates, until his retirement.
Thomas was passionate about and dedicated to being a physician. He loved his work and was devoted to building meaningful connections with his patients. He took great pleasure in listening to the stories of their lives and immense pride in providing the best possible care to his patients. He wouldn’t hesitate to advocate on their behalf and would never turn away anyone who needed help. He was highly respected by his peers and valued his colleagues.
At his wife’s urging, the family moved to Vashon Island from Tacoma in 1997, where he found his way back to the land with his vegetable, fruit, and flower garden, taking great pleasure in his rhododendrons. Thomas was an avid reader, loved music, theater and travel. Some of his favorite trips were the annual fishing jaunts to Alaska with friends.
Most importantly, Thomas took great joy being involved in his daughters’ lives—whether it was editing a paper, discussing politics, financial planning advice or dissecting the complexities of human psychology. He loved to impart his wisdom, even when it wasn’t sought, and loved to get a laugh with his cynical NY humor which stunned some but cracked up the rest of us. His sense of humor never deserted him even in his last days.
When people talked about Thomas, you often heard the words character, determination, intelligence, a person who was passionate, and opinionated. He was at heart a kind man, a loyal friend, a fierce defender of the right, and unafraid of any opposition.
He is survived by his wife, Deborah Reilly of nearly 40 years, his amazing daughters Amelia Martin (Scott Smith) of Savannah GA, and Hannah Martin of Oakland, CA, his sister Roberta Engorn (Jerry), nieces Corrine Epton and Erica Granlund, and nephews David and Andrew Stryker. He is predeceased by his parents and sister Margaret Stryker.
Join family and friends for A Celebration of Life on July 31st at 12:30 at the Vashon Havurah, 15401 Westside Hwy SW