Grant Martin
1987 - 2013
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Grant McAllister Martin

Our family and our community lost a brilliant and gifted young man when our son, Grant McAllister Martin, age 26, died unexpectedly, and accidentally, on Friday, July 26, 2013. Grant will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched.

At Oberlin College, where he double-majored in Biology and Neuroscience, Grant's thirst for knowledge earned him the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence. While in college, Grant interned at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Following graduation, Grant continued his pursuit of Neuroscience, when he interned at UCSF. There, with assistant professor Dr. Peter Wais, he co-authored a scientific study on The Effect of Distraction on the Quality of Memory. His tenacity and creativity in problem solving, led him to develop a behavioral test named the "Martin Auditory Normalization Task," which is still in use today.

Grant's keen scientific mind led him to his career as a researcher in the field of Neuroscience in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Dr. Paul Greengard, at Rockefeller University, in Manhattan.

Grant's other passion in life was music, which influenced him from an early age. Beginning with his guitar studies in grammar school, he mastered classical Spanish guitar by middle school. He went onto Marin Academy, where he blossomed in music, exploring a variety of genres, including world music, jazz, bluegrass and R&B. During his summers he taught private guitar lessons to children and volunteered to teach music to underserved children with the Crossroads Program.

While in New York, pursuing his science career, he assembled the band, Icewater, a band that fuses country, folk and rock'n roll. Grant not only played guitar and dobro, but also sang, and composed. A published review of Icewater, was quoted as saying their music was, "exceptional not only in its arrangement but originality of musical pattern and scope." The emerging band toured, playing South by Southwest, and was in the process of recording a full length CD.

Grant enjoyed exploring the beauty of the physical world. He hiked the hills of Marin and beyond and was drawn especially to water, at the Russian River, Kehoe Beach, Chimney Rock, Tomales Bay, and Rockaway Beach in New York. He loved traveling with friends and family to Europe, Asia, Central America, and driving several times cross the country.

Grant was devoted to spending time with his family and friends, where his warmth, intellect, and quirky sense of humor were much appreciated at swim parties, softball games, holiday gatherings, touch football games, musical concerts and jam sessions. Grant had an unusually strong bond with his brother, Matty, who was also his best friend, and with whom he shared his very best times.

Words cannot express the loss felt by Grant's family, BJ, Chris and Matty Martin and Paul Mousavi, his many aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well at his immense community of devoted friends.

A celebration of Grant's life will be held at Marin Art and Garden Center, in Ross, CA on Sunday, August 18th, at 4pm. In lieu of flowers, we request that you honor Grant through a donation to the Marin Academy music program, 1600 Mission Ave. San Rafael, 94901, or go to, Support MA, and donate "in the honor of Grant Martin", to assist students in their pursuit of musical studies.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Aug. 3 to Aug. 11, 2013.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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45 entries
October 19, 2013
BJ, Chris, and Mattie, I think of you often. BJ, I'd love to take you up on your suggestion of a walk, but I haven't been able to find your phone number. Here's mine:415-847-1307. Let's go. Much love, Lisa Hauck-Loy
August 30, 2013
Chris, BJ, & Paul,
I have come to this page so many times since learning of Grant's transition, and I couldn't write anything. I can only imagine what all of you are going through as parents. Each time I start to write something, a reflection incident comes up in my mind. I seem to resist sharing the story.

Well, here it is. When Grant and Mattie was young boys, I was in your kitchen drinking water. Mattie and Grant ran in the kitchen for something. As I drank the water, Mattie took his little hands and ran it across my brown skin. When the brown or chocolate didn't come off, both boys froze in their tracks, looking at me like a doe eyed baby deer. In that moment, I didn't know what to do or say. I knew I had to handle this gently. So, I ask my god to guide me in the right response.

I looked down at the boys' little faces and my eyes met Grant's eyes. They were so nervous with their stiff little bodies. With our eyes meeting in a frozen glare, Grant and I start to laugh at the same time. Not one word was ever spoken. It was priceless and a great feeling inside of me then and even now. Such innocence! Grant pulled Mattie out of the kitchen as if to scold him.

This story is a reminder that it's the little things in life that are important. Grant maybe gone in his physical form, but he left such great memories to many people who knew him and met him. I knew in that moment that having eye contact with Grant, I made a special connection with someone very special. Learning about his achievements proves me right.

I always thought of Grant as brilliant and a very old wise spirit. Mattie and Grant was a joy to watch at play. Their imagination and creativity flowed far beyond their own understanding, and was unlimited in their pursuits to knowledge. BJ, Chris, & Paul nurtured the boys' interest to look beyond the here and now, and.... they did!

I feel blessed having know all of you. My life certainly is better for what all of you gave and shared with me. So thank you all for the wonderful memories and life experiences. I call upon these memories frequently to share with others. I know that I am and have been truly blessed with divine Goodness.

May Grant continues to live in all of us! And... May all of you be protected with Divine Love. You will get through this. I have that faith!

Trudi Smith
Trudi Smith
August 25, 2013
BJ, Chris, and Matty--
I am so sorry to hear of Grant's passing, too soon. I didn't know him, but reading these comments testifies as to his wonderful qualities. And I do know something about the rest of his remarkable family.
I can only imagine your devastation, and hope that you are able to find solace in each other, and in the things that Grant loved.
Robin & David Moller
August 18, 2013
No words can convey how sorry I am to hear of Grant's passing; of this tremendous loss. Grant's family, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

~Samantha Roger~
Class of 2005, Marin Academy
August 18, 2013
"Earth knows no sorrow that Heaven can not cure" We are so sorry for your great loss.
Diarmuid Harrington and Family
August 18, 2013
"Earth knows no sorrow that Heaven can cure "
. We are so sorry for your great loss.
Diarmuid Harrington and Family
August 16, 2013
May God Bless you as he will now and forever and keep you close in his heart for all time , our prayers and deepest sympathies are standing with you strong in our hearts, our morning and evening prayers will be sending you blessings for now and forever ...and for as long as we live ..we will pray with you our hearts ...
Bob Bonnet Kathleen Hallinan Bonnet
August 14, 2013
To Grant's family:
It was very heart-wrenching to hear of Grant's passing. I was fortunate to get to know him as a neuroscience major at Oberlin College. He was a wonderful human being. He was an outstanding student and his smile, intelligence and warmth were much appreciated. All of the neuroscience faculty members join me in expressing sorrow over his passing. Our thoughts are with you.

Grant and I met for lunch at Rockefeller a year or so ago when I was there doing research. It sounded like things were going really well for him and I really enjoyed reconnecting. I can't believe he is gone. I know you must be completely devastated. Know that Grant touched many, many lives and that he will be sorely missed. We are all so sorry for your loss.
Jan Thornton
Professor and Chair, Neuroscience Dept, Oberlin College
Jan Thornton
August 13, 2013
Chris and Family,
I just returned from vacation and found out the sad news about Grant. I send my kind thoughts, prayers, and love to you and your entire family.
Jack Curley
August 12, 2013
BJ, Chris and Matty,
This is such sad news - words can't express our sorrow for your loss of this wonderful young man. Ben Ballard & Carolyn Newman
August 11, 2013
"And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one creature makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of eternity can fill it up." Charles Dickens
Sent to you by Jeanne Milligan with love.
Jeanne Miligan
August 11, 2013
BJA, Chris and Matty,

Wells and I are devastated to learn of this awful loss and send you our love, Anne Halsted
Anne Halsted
August 11, 2013
Dear BJ, Chris and Matty,
We are devastated for your loss of Grant so swiftly and unexpectedly. Our prayers and hearts are with you and with him. From the day he met Sophie all those years ago on Ross Common, his warm, soulful character was most evident. Their deep friendship brought him into our lives and indeed, into our hearts. They managed a friendship over time and continents during years of change and growth. We are so incredibly sorry for the loss of him from this world.
The Lucie-Smith family
Louisa Lucie-Smith
August 10, 2013
Dear BJ, Chris and Matty,
There are no words to express our hurt and sadness and we ache for you as we struggle to understand the unthinkable. All we know is that we were blessed to have known such a beautiful, bright, sensitive and caring spirit that was Grant. His passing leaves a terrible void, but Grant made sure that he left such wonderful memories, lessons and love with all who were lucky to have known him that he will always be in our hearts and minds. Much love and courage to you all. Judy & William
Judy Flannery
August 10, 2013
We are heartbroken and so deeply sorry for your unspeakable loss. From the very first moment I met Grant at Oberlin, I loved him. So uniquely wonderful & personable. Our sincere & deepest sympathy to Grant's family & friends. - Kate & John Farley
August 9, 2013
BJ, Chris, Matty - I was stunned to read of the loss of Grant. Curiously, I recently came across the rusty fire engine Will and I found at Russian River, and a flood of memories of summer weekends came back - face painting, softball, go carts. There are no real words to express my sorrow.
Stephanie Lyons
August 9, 2013
Martin Family,

We are so sad of hearing this tragic news last evening. It is beyond words for us to convey how saddened we are at Grant's passing. Just know that you are in our daily thoughts and prayers and we are here for you.
Coppinger Family
August 7, 2013
BJ, Chris and Matty,
What a tragic and sad loss for everyone Grant touched, and most especially for you. Our hearts are with you. We know that Grant will be long remembered for his kindness, talents and smile. We are so very sorry for his passing.

Love, Elika and Michael
Elika Rosenbaum
August 6, 2013
Chris, BJ, Mattie and the Martin family, I am deeply saddened by your tragic loss. My dad & I reminisced about Grant & Mattie running through the Cannery office when they were youngsters. Grant was an exceptionally talented and accomplished young man taken far too soon. Please accept my sincerest condolences and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Michael Evans
August 6, 2013
BJ,Chris,Mattie & family,We were deeply saddened by the news of Grant's passing. Our thoughts & prayers are w/ all of you & may the memories of Grant help you find peace.
Norman & Priscila Antiporda
August 6, 2013
I am so shocked and saddened by this news and cannot imagine the pain you and your family are in now. I am so sorry for your loss, and hope that all the prayers of love and healing will light your path during this dark and confusing time. I am thinking of you daily. Hang in there my friend.
Shawn Marshall
August 6, 2013
I was so sad to get this news this morning from Tutti. Gareth and I shared some tears too. I want you, BJ, Chris, and Mattie, to know how sorry we are, and that we and so many others feel not only this loss, but also the sweetness of memories of Grant as we saw him grow into a thoughtful and interesting young man, who had the full, amazing support of his loving family. Much love to you, Lisa Hauck-Loy and Gareth Loy
Lisa Hauck-Loy
August 6, 2013
I am so saddened and heartbroken by the unbelievable passing of Grant. Your family has been a big part of my life and the four of you will forever be in my heart. You are in my thoughts and heart.
August 6, 2013
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in these difficult moments.
Mirta, Steven, Andrea Sosa and Mario Torres
Las Margaritas
August 6, 2013
I am so very saddened to learn of Grant's death. At a party here in Oberlin I met Grant and he & I became instant friends after a full night of discussing Jimi Hendrix. When graduation rolled around I gave Grant a suit and he asked me to cut his hair for the upcoming ceremony. How lucky I am to have met Grant Martin -- his infectious smile will always keep me company. My sincerest condolences to his family & many, many friends.
"Disco" Steve Toth
August 6, 2013
Chris and BJ I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son I remember when he was born and seeing him skate boarding and playing at The Cannery I just want you to know your in our thoughts and prayers
John Franzella
August 5, 2013
My sincere condolences to your family, BJ.
Anne Moore
Anne Moore
August 5, 2013
I went to Oberlin and live in New York. I have seen Grant sporadically over the past few years in San Francisco and New York. My heart goes out to his family. What a loss. You are in my thoughts.
Rose Reid
August 5, 2013
When we ran into one another in June you were leaving one concert , with great enthusiasm, to rush off to hear Grant perform at another venue. The pride you felt in both he and Mattie oozed out of you and Chris. The wonderful bond between your family is vibrant to even the strangers eye.
I am so sorry for your loss; however, perhaps there is some solace in knowing that your devotion to one another was rare and precious . You were all lucky to have shared it. It was just too short.
Gail Marell
August 5, 2013
Chris, BJ, and family. As I sit here, memories come flooding back, of BJ bringing Grant & Matty to the family owned Cannery Shopping complex on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Myself and 15 or so off duty San Francisco Policemen worked Security for Chris.. We all became part of the Martin family.. Grant's success was a direct result of the love and guidance given him by Chris & BJ The world is a lesser place today. Grant had so much more to contribute to this Universe. May God welcome Grant into Heaven.
Gerry & Michele Evans
August 4, 2013
I am blown away by this! The enormity of Grant's gifts, talents and accomplishments are not overshadowed by his humanity. We have been most fortunate to have shared our lives with his.

My deepest sympathy to Grant's family.

David Blakey
August 4, 2013
Chris and BJ - Dan and I are sending our heartfelt warmth to you and your family at this very difficult time.
Much love ..... Dan and Victoria Cressman and Family
Victoria Cressman
August 4, 2013
I have fond memories of teaching Grant at Marin Academy and will always remember him as a cheerful, bright, and curious person who was a joy to be around. My heart goes out to his family and friends.
Bill Meyer
August 4, 2013
Dear Chris, BJ and Matty - Please accept the deepest sympathies from the Nolan family on your tragic loss of Grant. With fondest memories and appreciation of this outstanding young man. Loving regards, Michael, Rosy and Mac
Michael Nolan
August 4, 2013
I am deeply saddened to hear of Grant's passing. He was a hugely positive presence in his time at Marin Academy and I loved working with him in music. He was talented, committed, curious and experimental, and he had a great way of working with people. I can easily visualize that amused smile of his. And boy, did he love music and playing. My thoughts and prayers are with Grant's family.
Robert Schleeter
August 4, 2013
We will always carry with us fond memories of Grant and the years he and Josh played baseball together. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Fondly the Pearlstein's
August 4, 2013
To BJ, Chris and Family, we are numb by reading about this, our hearts go out to you during this difficult time.
George & Nancy Carewe
August 4, 2013
We are simply heart broken. God speed Grant Martin

Ward, Melinda, Christopher and Andrew Ching
Ross, California.
Ward Ching
August 4, 2013
I attended MA with Grant and graduated along with him in 2005. I shared many classes and conversations with him and am very sad to hear of this news. My thoughts and prayers are certainly with the family during this time.
Brandy Varnado
August 4, 2013
I will have a special mass said in Grants name at St Dominic's in SF. May the Lord bless Grant and your family.
Timothy Parker
August 4, 2013
The whole Martin family is much loved by our daughter Laurel. We have heard about many happy experiences that the kids shared through the years, and this tragedy has left us all shattered to think it can happen to "one of our own". We all are going about our daily lives with a heavy heart.
Lacy Lang
August 4, 2013
Grant was a one-in-a-million sublime human being - brilliant, beautiful, creative, and kind-hearted. I am so very sorry. -
Linda Parker
August 3, 2013
I had the honor of knowing Grant via my son, Maxwell, one of Grant's many friends. Grant would often come to our house and it was always a pleasure to see him. Grant's guitar skills were superb and our mutual interest in music gave us much to talk and laugh about. He is missed and will continue to be so. My heartfelt condolences to Grant's family and many friends.
Ross Portugeis
August 3, 2013
We send our sympathy to you and all Grant's family and friends. We can't imagine how terrible going through this must be for all of you. I know you have many happy memories that will sustain you through this difficult time. Our prayers go out to you. Sincerely ,Jo & Ron Wade
August 2, 2013
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
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