Michele Martin, local artist and librarian at Greenwich Library, died of cancer on Saturday, July 16, 2022 at her home in Cos Cob, surrounded by family and two days after her 64th birthday.
For 22 years, she worked at Greenwich Library in various positions, and the last five as the Peterson Business Librarian. She organized countless lectures and developed programs for job seekers, investors, and writers, as well as art- and science-related programs, working closely with MOMA and the Greenwich Astronomical Society.
Michele thrived in the library’s stimulating environment and eventually went back to school for a Master’s in Library Science from the Pratt Institute in New York. She loved working with the patrons and her colleagues, who were grateful for her knowledge and skill, and drawn to her infectious (and loud) laughter and kindness to all.
Michele enjoyed spending time with her daughters and their young families the most. She often visited her two grandsons, Jasper and Otto, in Berlin, Germany, and studied the German language earnestly in between visits. She recently welcomed her first granddaughter, Sunny, and enjoyed visiting her at the beach in Rockaway, Queens.
Michele was an accomplished artist in a wide range of mediums, from drawing to painting, collage work to silkscreening—and, most recently, Navajo weaving. She was an artistic pioneer in many ways, having recognized the art scene in Marfa, TX, where she bought a house in the ’90s, and through her involvement in the Stamford Loft Artists Association, where she held studio space. Her exuberant enthusiasm for art, music, design, books, playing tennis, and, most of all, her family and friends, both lifelong and recent, will leave a lasting impact on everyone in her life.
Michele grew up in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles, the youngest of the four children of Sally and Charles Martin. She attended Immaculate Heart High School and earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before moving to Connecticut in 1991, she worked as a fine artist and mother to her two daughters in New York City. For the past ten years she made Cos Cob her home.
Michele leaves behind her beloved daughters, Katherine Kordaris (Robert Carnevale) and Eloise Kordaris (Mischa Bitten); grandchildren Jasper George Bitten, Otto Michele Bitten, and Sunny Martin Carnevale; ex-husband and dear friend George Kordaris; sisters Laura Ricks (Paul Ricks) and Stephanie Helper; brother Greg Martin (Cathy Martin); and four nieces, three nephews, and one grandnephew. Her constant companion over the last 12 years, her cat Persephone, will also carry on Michele’s memory.
Michele’s final days were spent exactly as she wished: at home, with grace and acceptance, surrounded by her many loved ones—especially her daughters, grandchildren, and cat.
A funeral Mass with reception to follow will be held at St. Catherine of Siena in Riverside, CT, at 10:00am on Friday, July 22.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Connecticut FoodBank/FoodShare – ctfoodbank.org.