Saturday, September 13, 2014

Martha Eilertsen’s Obituary

Martha Elizabeth Hay
February 13, 1962 – September 11, 2014

Martha Elizabeth Hay, 52, died peacefully in Spokane, WA, on September 11, after living with cancer for two years.  She was surrounded by her family.

Martha was born in Dillon, Montana. Her early years were spent in Montana, Kenya, and Spokane. Martha graduated from Ferris High School, enjoyed summers at Camp Cross on Lake Coeur D’Alene, and was an active member in her father’s Episcopal congregation, St. Stephen’s.

Martha attended Whitman College and graduated in 1984.  There, she met Jeff Eilertsen and in their 27 years of marriage, they raised two children and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Spokane. Martha’s professional path led to the Episcopal Church. She earned a Master of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California, and was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 2003. Martha enjoyed and succeeded in the many aspects of ministry. She served as an Associate Priest at St Paul’s in Pittsburgh, PA and for three years led and grew her own congregation at St. Thomas in Canonsburg, PA. She had a special place in her heart for children’s ministry.

Martha found great joy in raising her children, spending summers in Montana, and creating art and beautiful spaces. She cherished time with the people she loved and her friendship circle was wide and diverse. The many friends and family who extended love and kindness throughout Martha’s illness are a testament to her ability to create meaningful relationships. Every helping hand and generous gesture was greatly appreciated and formed a true community of support for Martha and her family.

Martha is survived by her children Anna and Thomas Eilertsen, parents Rev. John and Marj Hay, sisters Julie Hay and Jennifer Steward, brother Michael Hay, Jeff Eilertsen, and her many nieces, nephews, and cousins.  

A memorial service will be held Friday, September 26th at 11am at The Cathedral of St John the Evangelist.

Those wishing to make a donation in Martha’s honor are encouraged to support Hospice of Spokane and continue the ministry of grace, comfort, and nourishment to which Martha was always committed.

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