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Martha Salomon

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Martha Laredo Salomon

1934-2015 Martha Laredo Salomon, a passionate Vermonter and a resident of the Ames Hill area for over 30 years and a summer resident for 20 years prior, passed away in New York on Saturday, January 31st. Born in Cochabamba, Bolivia where she spent summers on the family farm, her family moved to San Francisco when she was a teenager. San Francisco was a city that she always considered home and it helped her develop a love for the ocean as well as the mountains. There, she worked for Pan American Airways for a few years and with friends, would stand by for weekend trips to Hawaii before it was developed and when there were long stretches of beautiful open beach to explore.. It therefore seemed fitting that the last week of her life was spent on the beach in Naples, Florida seeing and hearing the waves rolling in on a white sandy beach with some beautiful sunsets and sharing the experience with her husband of over 53 years, Frank, and with two of her closest friends Benita Valente and Anthony Checchia. For Martha, family was the most important part of her life, and she spent last Thanksgiving and New Year's with them in Vermont. Her daughter Yana, who lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, came for Thanksgiving with her husband, Richard Anderson, and their nine year-old son, Griffen, and her daughter Lisa, who lives in Oakland, California with her husband, Scott Forrest, came with their 11 year-old daughter, Meghan to celebrate the New Year. Martha spoiled her grandchildren with the passion with which she loved them and enjoyed every moment in the process. Martha was a woman of many talents. Together with Guilford builder, the late Lyndon Squires, in 1983, she converted a barn on thier Ames Hill property into a warm and inviting year-round house, without the help of an architect. She helped to design flowers beds around the barn that were admired by many, and took pride in having an abundant vegetable garden, the contents of which provided many delicious meals since she was also a remarkable cook. In their early years in Vermont, she and Frank made many 'great buys' at area auctions that Martha re-upholstered or stripped down to create 'treasures' that they and their friends have enjoyed for a lifetime. She was also an able carpenter and, among other projects, she built a remarkable doll house for her daughters with furnishings collected over the years from shops in London, Manchester, Vt. and wherever she found something she felt the dollhouse family needed or would enjoy. Be it their original summer cottage or the barn in Vermont or their apartment in New York City, Martha made each space into a warm and inviting home. She made clothes for her 'girls' and herself in the early years, and had an eye for finding beautiful and reasonable things for her homes and family. It was her warmth, her smile, and her generosity of spirit that made her so beloved to anyone with whom she came into contact. She was a cherished member of the Marlboro Music School and Festival community where her husband has been an Administrator, together with Anthony Checchia, since 1960. It was at Marlboro that Martha and Frank met and where their daughters grew up and where they developed lifelong friendships - also with members of the local Marlboro and Brattleboro communities. A prominent musician, who first came to Marlboro as a very young artist, wrote: "I will always remember how kind she was to me when I was a kid there at Marlboro that first summer - she tried to make me feel accepted and at home. And even in these later years when I only saw her occasionally, she was always so warm and welcoming, because that was how she was as a human being." To her husband, she was his muse, his conscience, and also his partner at Marlboro and for his many other musical projects as well as for all the wonderful experiences that they shared. To her daughters, Lisa and Yana, numerous 'adopted daughters and sons' and to many others, she was a warm and loving mother figure as well as a caring friend. To her brother, Jaime Laredo and sister-in-law, Sharon Robinson she was a constant loving and supportive presence. She also shared all those qualities with her nieces, Lynn Janovsky, Elizabeth Janovsky Horowitz, Jennifer Laredo Watkins and with her husband, Paul Watkins and their daughters, Emily and Eliza; with her late brother, Ted; and with her late sister and brother-in-law, Hannah and Mike Janovsky and so many others. She will be greatly missed by her family, numerous friends and so many others. In lieu of flowers, tax deductible contributions to the Martha Laredo Salomon Fellowship Fund can be made to Marlboro Music School and Festival, 1528 Walnut Street, Suite 301, Philadelphia, Pa. 19102.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Feb. 3, 2015
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