Ellen Kroop-Martin, MD Ellen was called to join her fellow angels on October 8, 2013. She died peacefully at home surrounded by friends and family after a long battle with cancer. Ellen was born January 2, 1963 in New York City. She grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey and attended local primary schools and Teaneck High School. While growing up, she distinguished herself in local sports, particularly in swimming, setting numerous local records; and in tennis, collecting multiple championships. She attended the University of Pennsylvania where she continued her swimming career and was an English and Pre-med major. Following graduation, she attended New York Medical College in Valhalla, NY. She graduated in 1989 with distinction, winning the Charlotte Yudell Woman in Medicine Award, given to the graduating woman who best personifies humanitarian spirit and compassion. These qualities have been Ellen's defining gifts throughout her life. While in medical school, she met and fell in love with her husband of 23 years, Rick. They married in 1990 and had three amazing and loving sons. After Medical School she completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center and then continued her internal medicine training at Yale University School of Medicine. After completing a year as Chief Resident at Yale-affiliated Norwalk (CT) Hospital, she began her career in medicine with teaching positions at St. Raphael Hospital (CT) and the University of Hawaii School of Medicine. Her mission during this time was instruction of medical residents in medical education with emphasis on respect and compassion. At the completion of Rick's military obligation, she resumed her medical career at the Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans, LA. It was during this time that her medical career was relegated to part-time as she assumed her true calling of being a full-time mother to her three boys. In this role she was equal parts school volunteer, Cub Scout den mother, and carpool expert. After the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, Ellen and her family relocated to Tacoma, Washington where she ultimately retired from her Medical career to raise her three amazing sons. She cherished this time. In this capacity, she was heavily involved volunteer work at St. Charles Borromeo School, serving on the SCOPE parent association and Bellarmine Preparatory School working in the Lion's Den and serving on the Auction Committee. Ellen was active in the local tennis scene, playing competitively out of the Tacoma Lawn and Tennis Club. In the recent years, she began devoting more time to her first love, writing. With the exception of research papers, her initial foray into writing was an essay published in the Journal of the AMA in the "Piece of My Mind" section, which has been subsequently been cited in bioethical discussions. She recently published a blog, which can be found at ellenkmartin.wordpress.com. Ellen also completed three novels and was working to get them published at the time of her death. Ellen is survived by her parents, Sherman and Diana Kroop of Boynton Beach, Florida; her brother, Marc Kroop of San Diego, California; her loving husband Richard (Rick); and her adoring sons, Ryan, Gavin, and Tommy. She also had many nieces and nephews. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 11:00am at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church. A Rosary will be recited on Monday, October 14, 2013 at 7:00pm at Gaffney Funeral Home Chapel. A viewing will be held prior to the rosary from 10-6pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ellen's name to Heifer International or Bellarmine Preparatory School Scholarship Fund. Please leave online condolences at www.gaffneycares.com. Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home, 253-572-6003.
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Oct. 12, 2013