Courtney Martin … A Life Beautifully Lived
Courtney was born on January 21, 1947 in Chicago Illinois. Her father Frank was the proud owner of The Kalamazoo Sled Company and her mother, Ellen was a homemaker.
As a single child, Courtney’s closest playmates were her books. She spent hours acting out the adventures in her favorite stories. Courtney never lost her love for books and adventure.
After spending two years at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, Courtney wanted to see more of the world, so completed her last two years of college in Colorado. On summer breaks, she worked in Aspen and Vail during the ski resorts’ early days.
After graduating from college, Courtney found work in London, using her weekends and holidays to tour Europe. While her adventures were often solo, she always made friends along the way.
Though Courtney returned to the states several years later, she remained a lifelong Anglophile. She was committed to her English morning tea, and was a great fan of British humor, in general, and of Monty Python in particular.
After returning home to Kalamazoo, MI. she worked several years in fashion at Jacobson’s Department store. Courtney met and married the love of her life, David Higgins. Before long, the couple decided it was time to see more of the world. They bought a very small RV and toured the country ending up in San Diego, CA. By then Courtney was ready to settle down.
She went back to working in retail, but her true passion was the San Diego Zoo, where she volunteered. Though jobs at the Zoo were few and far between, she learned there were openings at the Zoo library.
That began her adventure in the library world. Taking classes nights and weekends, she earned her masters degree in Library Science. She said, in retrospect, it was a perfect fit … she loved books and she was a master organizer.
Courtney eventually moved on to serve as librarian for the Design Institute of San Diego. While there she also taught popular classes in the history of 20th Century design and architecture.
When Courtney and David retired, they discovered Mt. Dora through a friend who lived here. After one visit in 2009, they were hooked despite the heat and humidity, a vast change from San Diego’s cool, dry climate.
During her time here in Mt. Dora, she soon became loved by so many in our community of friends. Her bright vibrant personality, her creative quirky style, her infectious laughter and her big, generous heart are just some of the reasons she will be so deeply missed.
As one friend put it, during conversations Courtney made you feel as though you were the most fascinating person she had ever encountered. What a gift!
Courtney will be missed, but never forgotten. She celebrated life … and so will we.