Kari L. Martell
07/04/1964 - 11/21/2022
Obituary For Kari L. Martell
Kari Martell died in her sleep early Monday morning, November 21st, 2022. She was 58 years old and the best mom and friend to her children, daughter, Devon, 26, and son, Derek, 20. She was fun, a good listener, and gave great support to them through the years. She raised her children in Fremont for the last 30 years and lived there when she died.
Kari was born in Madison, WI, and grew up in Los Alamos, NM, where she received many academic awards and was engaged in many social activities like winning speech contests, winning a beauty pageant, and volunteering at muscular dystrophy summer camps. She graduated from the University of Texas with a BS in Advertising and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to live with her oldest sister, Colleen, and began work in the marketing communications field for many companies. For the last 20 years, she worked at local nonprofits like the Alameda County Food Bank and for the last 16 years, she was vice president of marketing and communications at Avenidas, a senior citizen resource center in Palo Alto, where she was a passionate promotor of mission-based programs. She was an empathetic professional, who advocated for awareness of issues and successfully brought national and local attention to their causes, including gaining coverage on NPR, Oprah, and USA Today. Whether through her role as MC of the neighborhood talent show, or as a disco dance teacher at the community center, or as the presenter of an intergenerational Tech for Seniors event at Avenidas, Kari brought her trademark energy and enthusiasm to everything.
Kari joins her mom, Phyllis, and aunts, “Mickey” and Marilyn on the next plane. She leaves behind her children, Devon and Derek and ex-husband, John. She also leaves behind her siblings, Colleen, Michelle, and Patrick, and her father, Calvin, and nieces and nephews, Miles, Justin, Angie, Brian and Chris, Maddie, Lucas and Riley, Danny and Audrey, Noah and Aubrey.
Kari will be remembered by those who knew and loved her as creative, witty, vivacious, determined, and willing to do anything for her children. Kari built community around her, and kept a network of friends and family engaged with her personal insights and funny observations about the world. This world is a little smaller without her here. She ended one of her last conversations with “Ciao for now.” Ciao for now indeed Kari, we will always love you to the moon and back!