NORMAN ERNEST MARTIN
April 29, 1970 – November 6, 2022
Very shortly after noon on Sunday, November 6th, 2022, Norm Martin died at the age of 52. This was the end of a nearly two-year battle with cancer that seemed to be won at the start of 2022 but came back severely by August. The cancer was incurable however his life was tragically cut much shorter than was expected when told of its return; eight months or more became three.
Norm led a remarkable life with meaning and impact on many people. Born in Winnipeg, Norm was affected by the Sixties Scoop and grew up in Winnipeg’s North End as an off-reserve citizen of Barren Lands First Nation. He experienced deep intergenerational poverty living with his adoptive family in the neighbourhood. Despite these early hardships, he made many friends in the North End at school and through the Air Cadets. Many of his high school friends shared his affinity for Heavy Metal music popular in the eighties.
At age twenty-one he had a son, Dylon. He would go on to raise Dylon as a single father in the North End. Although he took great pride and care in being a father, he considered raising a child as a single parent in poverty the most trying experience of his life, surpassing even his cancer diagnosis. This is deeply revealing of some of the cruel hardships’ society places on some of its members. Despite these circumstances, he managed to secure a much better life for his son than he had. Along the way, he led a successful labour drive at a glass factory and became an active community member in the Burrows neighbourhood at the block level.
Norm was no stranger to loss. His adoptive parents Donovan and Lillian Martin passed away in his twenties and he tragically lost his adoptive brother Dean Martin in 2002. Norm deeply loved his adoptive family and mourned. He stayed connected with his family of friends and connected with his birth family in 2004. He welcomed relationships with his brother Willy and sister Patricia and his birth mom, Pauline Petti. In 2012 he began dating Moriah Davis, who he would marry in September 2022.
He loved his work as a clinical educator, ending his career at St. Amant where he became a champion of Truth and Reconciliation. He was always a sage source of advice and perspective for Dylon and Moriah. He had a sharp sense of humour, which he retained to the very end. He enjoyed making fibre-glass stereo boxes; watching the UFC; high volume Heavy Metal; the Toronto Blue Jays; stand-up comedians; and frequenting pawn shops, often returning home with a new tool or device.
Over the weeks Norm received many visitors and obtained some enjoyment and mental activity to near the very end talking, reminiscing about his remarkable life with friends and family, and playing cards. He had a solid winning streak at Crazy Eights all the way to the night before he passed.
Norm leaves to mourn many family members, friends, and colleagues. The family acknowledges those who visited and cared for him in different ways over the past two years. In the last week of his life, Norm expressed humble gratitude for their care and felt that he was loved.
The family acknowledges his friends at St. Amant for raising funds to support the Celebration of Norm’s Life, to be held November 26, 2022, at 603 Wellington Crescent from 1 to 3 pm.
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