Remembering Martin Taylor

Martin Taylor, of Guemes Island, was welcomed into the world on this day, November 19, in 1959 in Bellingham, Washington to Donald and Helene Taylor (Berentson). He died last summer, on July 5th, 2022, at the age of 62. He is survived by his sisters, Julie (James) Aageson, Marcia (Franklin) Wilson, and Laurie (Peter) Vanderweyst, and his children, Miriam, Molly, and Jenny Taylor. 

Martin was a lover of language and a gifted storyteller. After graduating from Anacortes High School, he went on to get an English degree from Pacific Lutheran University in 1983. Then he and his wife Susan moved east to Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he earned his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary. After being ordained a Lutheran minister, Martin took a call at Central Lutheran Church in the logging city of Morton, Washington before returning with his family to his Skagit County roots as pastor at Fir Conway Lutheran Church, where he served for over a decade. 

After leaving the church in 2010, Martin went back to his great passion of being on, in and around water. As a youth he had worked extensively on boats, helping his dad run the M.V. Christian while in high school and salmon fishing in Alaska during college summers. He now decided to put his captain's license back to good use, this time working as a skipper on private vessels, running trips around the Salish Sea and up into Canada. He took great pride in maintaining his garden, fruit orchard, and forest-ringed 10-acre Guemes plot, which includes a beautiful duck pond that he spent years building.

A complex person, brimming with charisma and stubbornness, Martin was well-loved wherever he went. He drew people to him with his stories and inimitable sense of humor, always accented by a conspiratorial smile. From his Guemes Island community to his steadfast bird hunting crew, Martin was surrounded by loyal and caring friends. In addition to his sisters, brothers-in-law, and children, Martin is survived by seven beloved nieces and nephews and their children. He was preceded in death by his parents. 

Martin, our dad, brother, uncle and friend, will be sorely missed. He suffered from depression in the last years of his life and died by suicide on July 5. Our hearts are broken, and we hope he's found the peace he sought. Blessed be his memory.

A memorial was held in Martin's honor on Guemes Island on July 12th.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now 988.

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