Life Story / Obituary


Martha Ellen Graham Lepine passed away peacefully in her home on December 6th, 2023.

A proud “Canadian American,” she was born to Don and Elinor Graham in Strathroy, Ontario on May 19th, 1953. The family moved to Plymouth, MI when she was 3, where she grew up with her siblings Don, Janet, and Duncan.

She attended the University of Michigan, majoring in Education and minoring in Dance. Her time spent as a Wolverine Dancer was special and formative. She maintained those friendships up until the end with weekly Zoom chats.

After graduation, she worked at Eden Foods in Ann Arbor. There, she met a tanned, long-haired man who had recently returned from sailing around the Caribbean. She fell in love with Larry Lepine and moved to the UP to be with him.

Together, they lived simply and ran Natural Living Foods in SS Marie. They welcomed three children, Gabe (1978-1992), Claire (Steve), and Evan (Jessica), before moving to Traverse City in 1984 to be closer to medical care for Gabe. Martha was many things to many people, but above all, she was the best mom.

We knew she was a great mother, but once she became a Grandma, or “Bama” to Archie and Bodhi, we saw how boundless her love truly was.

Martha loved nature, gardening, swimming, hiking, and reading. She valued female friendship and loved spending time with her book club. She was also an excellent cook; feeding and welcoming people into her home was one of her many love languages.

An informal gathering will be held 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm, Thursday, December 14, 2023 at Life Story Funeral Home. A brief service will start at 5:30 pm. A more formal Celebration of life will be announced in the Spring.

In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting The Grand Traverse Dyslexia Association, where she tutored children for over 30 years.


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