By Terry Rogers
Tricia Martin and her daughter, Taryn, were laid to rest Saturday, April 19, in a standing-room only service held at Torbert Funeral Home in Camden. Friends and family gathered to remember Milford Central Academy’s dynamic principal and her ten-year old daughter who both died after a car accident on Friday, April 11, 2014.
Tricia Renee Martin was born August 1, 1971, the daughter of the late Robert F. Garrow and Sheila Larson Garrow. Dr. Martin graduated from Caesar Rodney High School, then earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Science with a minor in Psychology from the University of Delaware. She obtained her Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Wilmington University in Education Leadership.
Friends remembered Dr. Martin as fun-loving, with an infectious laugh and enthusiasm for everything she did. Her compassion, understanding and love for students came through each day as she dealt with every situation, often with her signature humor.
“I remember when I got the job as a counselor at Milford Middle School,” Kristin Hannah said. “I thought ‘how is she a principal?’ as I only knew her then outside the school setting. Then, I had my first meeting with her and a family, and watched her turn a horrible situation into a positive and I realized she was born to do what she did.”
Taryn Martin was remembered as an honor student who had a unique gift of putting the needs of others before her own. Her father, John Martin, spoke of a young girl who attended the services who gave him a photo of herself and Taryn, letting him know that she was new to the school. The child said it was Taryn who made her feel welcome, included her and helped her meet new people.
Taryn Renee Martin was the daughter of John Paul Martin and the late Tricia Renee Martin, born on September 28, 2003. She was recalled as a unique blend of all that was good with a smile that radiated happiness. On one birthday, Taryn asked that friends not bring her gifts, but donate to the local SPCA instead. Her first thought was always about others, not herself.
Taryn was a gifted soccer player who had just been told she had earned the right to play in an older league, and many believed she may have been on her way to win gold in the U.S. Olympics, as she was extremely talented in the game.
The family asked only a few people to speak at the service, but requested that anyone who had a memory of how Tricia or Taryn had touched them to write a letter and send it to the funeral home, and that the staff would be sure the family received it. Letters can be mailed to Torbert Funeral Home, 1145 East Lebanon Road, Dover, Delaware 19901.
“She was only 10-years old and five feet tall,” Mr. Martin said of his daughter. “But I looked up to her. I will forever know that my greatest achievement in this life was being Taryn Renee Martin’s father.”