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1946 Marti (Martha) 2023

Marti (Martha) Esle Andersen

July 17, 1946 — November 22, 2023


Marti: Daughter, Sister, Wife, Sister in law, Mother, Aunt, Beste, Tag-a-Mom, Friend, and Partner. She resided in all of these roles with a genuine heart and a joyful giggle. 

Martha Esle Bjornstad was born to Trygve and Gertrude Bjornstad on July 17th, 1946 in Seattle, WA. When she was 3 yrs old, her parents built a lake cabin over a weekend with a group of friends. The rustic cabin had the air of a traditional Norwegian cabin and it was one of Marti’s favorite places to be in the summer. In her high school and college years, she could be found sailing a small rowboat, equipped with a sail, while reading a book. This usually led to her becoming so immersed in the book, that with one gust of wind, the boat would capsize. While treading water with her book held high, she would often be rescued by the neighbor, Mike in his ski boat. The cabin continued to serve as a maker of memories for Marti’s family and friends, as a foundation of fun, connection and enjoyment of nature.

After a year at Washington State University, she decided to take a year abroad in Norway. She’d been admonished multiple times for wearing her favorite attire of jeans on campus, and decided to see if her native country of Norway was more lenient. After a year of studies she then traveled Europe with two girlfriends. They purchased VW Fastback and the three of them would sleep like sardines in the back. Gert and Tryg worried she’d stay with this vagabond, life-enriching travel, and sent Marti a picture of Lars, a strapping oarsmen from the University of Washington that she’d known since 3rd grade. She saw the picture of Lars as and decided it was time to come home. Lars and Marti married in 1968. Heidi and Sven were born several years later, and Marti’s love of nature filled their lives. Marti and Lars separated in 2003 and she relocated to Sun Valley in 2006 to be closer to her daughter Heidi. She loved to travel and that continued as her grandchildren were born. She would eagerly visit and spend time wherever they were present. 

Then along came someone from the past, a former college friend and oarsman from UW, David Sinclair. David became a true partner for her in the last 4 years. With an eagerness for new experiences, David and Marti traveled to many places together, staying in AirBnBs along the way.  David always searched for the perfect fit, and by perfect fit, I mean a remote ranch that had pet goats! Marti had a love of those rascally creatures that dated back to the lake cabin days. 

Marti’s dis-ease came on swiftly and suddenly. Just 6 weeks prior to her passing away were the first definitive signs. After that, it was a whirlwind of trying to get her back to the healthy woman she always had been. There is a reason Pancreatic cancer is known as the silent one.

In life, Marti adored being in the company of people who appreciated the life they had and made the most of it without a lot of pomp and circumstance. This too, is how she moved out of this world and onto the next. She passed peacefully in her sleep on November 22nd, surrounded by her children and their partners. (Luckiest damn children there ever was.)

Marti, to all that knew her, was a true beacon of giving and kindness. She brought true light and love into this world. May we strive to be all that she encompassed. To quote her advisor, turned friend: “Marti wasn’t just one of the nicest people I’ve known, she is the nicest person I’ve ever met.” 

A celebration of life will be held June 15th at Sawtooth Botanical Gardens, in Ketchum, Idaho. We will be celebrating outside, in nature where Marti liked most to be. We ask that you wear color to honor the vibrancy in which Marti lived. 

Donations in her name can be made to Maui Strong or Maui Medics Healers Hui. Heidi has volunteered with Maui Medics Healers Hui and they continue to do so much for those in need of support on Maui.

We’d love for you to share your memories and pictures here too! 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marti (Martha) Esle Andersen, please visit our flower store.


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