SHUTESBURY - The Massachusetts Disability Rights community lost a tireless and accomplished advocate with the passing of Martina Carroll on Saturday, July 12, 2014, at the Hartford Hospital - a result of complications following surgery.
Born in Abington, PA, on Sept. 21, 1956, she was the daughter of the late Thomas J. and Myra T. Carroll. Her family lived in various locations throughout NJ, NY, PA and CA, as they followed her father's career in the electronics industry. She also spent many summers at her family's home in Stone Harbor, NJ.
Martina believed in being a voice for progress, with an interest in law and was a lifelong, passionate activist. She earned a BS in International Environmental Studies from Cook College (Rutgers), an AS in Computer Information Systems from Greenfield Community College and an MS in Organization and Management from Antioch New England Graduate School. She was a trained mediator, had worked in the GCC Development Office and participated in the Franklin County Reinventing Justice project in Greenfield.
A voracious reader, Martina could always be found with her current reading selection in hand, her next book nearby and an audio book in her car. She was constantly on the lookout for new releases by the likes of John Irving, Barbara Kingsolver, Archer Mayer, T.C. Boyle, Sheri S. Tepper, John McPhee, Jasper Fforde and Terry Pratchett. This love of reading inspired her daughter, Tegan, to become a librarian.
Martina was an accomplished farmer and gardener. With Michael Friedman, her husband of 15 years, Martina raised Boer goats at Levity Farm in Shutesbury. After moving to Massachusetts in 1981, she managed Hop Brook Farm, a market garden operation in New Salem, with her then spouse, John Mannino.
She is survived by her husband, Michael B. Friedman of Shutesbury; daughter, Tegan C. Mannino (Robbie Gunter) of Belchertown, and stepsons, Nicholas Buckminster of San Jose, CA, and Daniel Buckminster (Erin) of Amherst. She is also survived by her cousin, Patrick Carroll (Lama) of Holyoke; sisters, Mary Costello of Egg Harbor Township, NJ, and Martha C. Vollmer (Mason) of Phoenixville, PA, as well as other family members in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
A Systems Advocate at Stavros Center for Independent Living in Amherst, Martina tracked local, state and federal disability issues, advocated and lobbied with legislators and government agencies and played active roles in numerous state demonstration projects and efforts. She also chaired the Shutesbury ADA Committee.
Martina was remembered by her coworkers at Stavros as having "a deep and abiding commitment to disability rights, and a deep and abiding impatience with bureaucrats, nursing homes, and progress that was too slow. These qualities made her a ferocious advocate." Martina will be missed deeply by her family, friends and those she has helped - but even more by those whose lives she was yet to touch.
A Memorial Service is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, at the Munson Library in South Amherst. More about Martina can be found at the remembrance website,
Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street Amherst, MA 01002
Published in The Recorder on July 22, 2014