Ann Bodenhamer Martin, 82, made her transition and took flight with the angels on November 6, 2009. We all loved her. We all were uniquely blessed and inspired to new heights by her pure, yet simple way of loving. Our spirits soared as we laughed at her priceless and infectious sense of humor. We all have personal stories to share how she changed our lives for the better. Remembering Reverend Ann B. Martin conjures up a multitude of emotions and memories for all of us; sheer blessedness, unconditional love, heartfelt empathy, and unending wisdom. For 20 years, Ann blessed us as the Minister of Unity Church of Palm Springs. With her positive and caring approach in her thoughts, words, deeds and actions, she encouraged countless people to savor every moment of life with strength and appreciation, a sense of wonder, and a forgiving heart. Even when Parkinson's disease began playing havoc with her body and mind, she fought it head on, openly talking about it, laughing at it, and loving God all the more. Dedicated to the little white church in the desert, Dr. Ann communicated her pearls of wisdom in over 2,500 sermons. And then there were the hugs, over 240,000 of them, with always more to come. Ann's presence and devotion extended past the walls of the church. She built a sense of community within the community, dedicating herself to helping terminally ill patients and anyone else who needed a shoulder to cry on. She spent innumerable hours holding the hands of frightened individuals, assuring that God loved them and so did she. Above all, Ann was a teacher. She possessed the uncanny ability to recognize gifts inside of us that we couldn't see. And she was always right. Full of wisdom and encouragement, her messages were simple: "Decide today to make love a priority. Do what comes naturally and follow your heart. Listen within, forgive yourself and others, and ask for the truth of love to fill your life." Also a gifted author, Ann wrote several touching and awe-inspiring books. Her latest book, Calling Your Angel (SterlingHouse Publisher) has been enlightening readers since the fall of 2007. Calico Families (Pelican Publishing Co.) was first published in 1974 and has recently been re-released after 35 years! Ann's life before she moved to Palm Springs was anything but ordinary. A television personality in New Orleans, she created and hosted several shows, including "New Orleans Bandstand," "Hospitality House," and "The Ann Elliott Show." Also a fashion model, a radio broadcaster, a photographer, a journalist for several periodicals, and the first woman ever to "call the horses," Ann's life has been quite a trip! Ann's final job was perhaps her most important - Grandma. Living in Colorado with her daughter and two granddaughters for the past 15 months, Ann tackled Parkinson's with courage and conviction, determined to leave her grandchildren with the invaluable gifts of compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, faith in what you can't see, and love, always, always love. So, let's open our hearts, wipe away our tears, raise our arms in the air, and give our precious lady that well known, old fashioned, Ann Martin sendoff: Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! We love you, Dr. Ann! We love you, friend! We love you more! It would be greatly appreciated if monetary gifts made in memory of Dr. Ann, be sent to the Rev. Ann Martin Memorial at Parkinson's Resource Organization, 74-478 Highway 111, #102, Palm Desert, CA 92260 or on their website at www.parkinsonsresource.org. Telephone 877-775-4111. Also, all royalties made from future book sales will be donated to PRO. Thank you.
Remembering Reverend Ann B. Martin
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