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Martha Carr Atwater

Atwater, Martha Carr (Wallack)

Brooklyn Heights, NY: Age 48, of Brooklyn Heights, NY, beloved daughter of Julian and the late Patricia Carr Atwater of Rochester, NY, was fatally injured on a Brooklyn Heights sidewalk on Friday, February 22, when an out-of-control pickup truck jumped the curb and hit her, tragically snuffing out a beautiful life. In addition to her father, she is survived by her husband of 19 years, Thomas Wallack, and daughters Chloe and Olivia, sister Sarah (Robert) Mayer, brothers John (Mary) and Stephen (Leslie), and four nieces and three nephews, all of whom dearly loved her, and will sadly miss her, as will her many friends.

She grew up in Rochester, attending Brighton schools, and then Allendale Columbia, following which she attended Princeton University, from which she graduated in 1986. She then moved to New York City, where she cheerfully started as a valet restaurant parking attendant, but soon moved to more challenging efforts, utilizing her impressive talents. As Vice President of Programming at Scholastic, Inc., a major publisher of books and video media for children, she developed and produced over 200 half hours of live action and animated programming. At Scholastic, her charge was to adapt best-selling book series into international multi-media franchises. Her producing and co-producing credits included "Clifford The Big Red Dog," "Baby-Sitters Club," "Animorphs," "Goosebumps," "Dear America," "Horrible Histories," "Stellaluna" and "I Spy." Among her awards were Daytime and International Emmys and a Humanitas Prize. As a writer, her credits included "Giant Microbes," "WordWorld," where she was part of the team that won an Emmy for Best Writing, "Arthur" and "Big and Small," UK series winner of BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Award for Best Children's Series. Recently, she formed her own company, Oxymoron Print Media, and she launched her own blog, http://desperatelyseekingjonstewart.com, to showcase her witty adult-skewed writing. Her work credo was "Fast, Funny, Flexible."

She was active in her community and was a member of the Brooklyn Heights Association where, the president said, she "could be counted on to ask the question that was on everyone's mind but most were afraid to ask." A friend said "She was enormously loved by her friends, family and community" and described her death as a "tremendous loss for Brooklyn."

Her spirit uplifted her family, friends and community. She was a radiant presence and wit, an accomplished television and film producer, creative executive, and proudly funny writer, whose keenness of mind and determination were matched by her merriment and generosity of spirit.

Notwithstanding all that, she would say that her greatest accomplishment was raising two incredible young women, strong minded, smart and, like their mother, a friend to all.

Sweet Martha, we are heartbroken; and while we struggle to accept that we have lost you, we feel so very, very blessed to have had you in our lives.

A funeral service will be held Friday, March 1, at 3:30 pm at Grace Church, 254 Hicks St, Brooklyn Heights. A memorial service will be held at a later date at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Rochester.

The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, donations made in memory of Martha Atwater be to The Packer Collegiate Institute, 170 Joralemon St., Brooklyn, NY 11201, or www.packer.edu.


Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Feb. 27, 2013
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