The legendary Mike deMartelly (John Michael Galwey deMartelly) of Nelson, born February 10, 1946 in Lansing Michigan to the renowned artist John Stockton deMartelly and Janet Spaeth deMartelly, left this world on August 26th in peaceful sleep, with his wife Libby by his side, after complications contending with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer. He had a meaningful year, full of wonderful connections and quality of life, touching Other’s lives wherever he went, with his sharp intelligence and wit, his marvelous humor, and, most of all, his many tender, sincere and attentive kindnesses to countless others … just as he had throughout his life.
Not everyone knew he was a Cowboy, a lay electrician, lay plumber, a builder of beautiful, sun filled & Charm inspiring homes, rock chimney designer/builder, Boat aficionado/Builder, “Island Queen” Pirate Ship Fabricator, the former of which was fashioned from a 6-foot-under salvaged row boat for his daughter, Captain Iva, when 7 years old, beautiful harmony singer, banjo and guitar and piano and flute player… an incredible, captivating story teller like no other … a marvelous cook, a gifted and committedly equitable and conscientious Appraiser for the State of NH ROW Bureau or that he had an Economics degree from the University of Michigan with a tremendous and astute understanding of the subject. He spoke German spontaneously and beautifully and could recite poems in German ever so tenderly. He could perform Shakespeare phrases from memory from multiple plays and recall several sonnets on a moment’s spirited notice. He was a Poet in his own right, who could instantly devise verses, either meltingly beautiful or hysterically funny or crude … as his calling spurred him on. His ridiculously silly Christmas odes to his and his wife Libby’s dear friend Mitzi in Illinois were treasured annually. He was an artist on countless fronts, from design to sculpting, painting, writing, boat building, etc. In this past momentous year, he discovered his love of watercolor painting, creating several gorgeous seascapes with clipper ships, revisiting his love for his favorite and treasured book, Joshua Slocum’s Sailing Alone Around The World.
Born into a family of gifted artists and scholars, he not only created his own art, but both deeply appreciated and spoke of Art with great finesse and sensitivity. A brilliant, impressive writer, he fashioned strong and eloquent dissertations on matters of great importance, especially in defense of others, a gift he passed onto his daughter. In addition, he was an excellent proof reader/editor, the latter skill of which he gave credit to his oldest sister Taya, and from which many benefited.
A closet Volunteer, Mike was a committed helper, always assisting the downtrodden or whoever might need a hand. He was one of the most generous people his circle of both loved ones and acquaintances has ever known.
Mike was an astute and brilliant scholar of history and government and the law, especially Constitutional law, and a fierce defender of rights, rivaling the best of lawyers. He was someone with great intrinsic values and courage who bore passionate regard for the Truth, which he adamantly and eloquently upheld whenever he sensed it being violated. He’d brave tense atmospheres to speak up for others who were, or felt, too vulnerable to defend their own rights. Indeed, he was a natural Leader and Advocate whose voice and efforts inspired others to stretch themselves to Speak. Although he had impeccably gracious manners, when treated badly or when observing others being treated badly, he would fiercely intervene. Indeed, Mike had a passionate, authentic nature, with, at times, an irascible and fiery temper accompanied by brightly, neon-colorful language, all of which he could liberally employ when he perceived injustice or offense.
Like a chameleon, he could graciously adjust to peoples’ individual personalities and comfort levels, appreciating their individuality to recognize and honor their essences. He made acquaintances and friends from every walk of life. He was both a strong and a gentle person who routinely made others feel special. Not because it was a gimmick, but merely because he entered passionately into an unspoken contract of Real and Present.
He was an outright hysterically funny person at times and other times quietly and mischievously so, whose humor was always brilliant, clever, witty, “undoing.”
Children and dogs adored him. They could tell he was a true and spirited and Protective soul. Dogs he’d never met prior were known to jump out of trucks just to greet him in parking lots, and although he eschewed the company of cats, who were often great fodder for some terrible Mike jokes, felines gravitated right to him, seeking and eventually winning his heart!
He was a wonderful dancer and gifted, swift skier, spending many years in Colorado and building a community of beloved friends there who miss him desperately.
He was a loving and playful and attentive Caregiver to the elderly and the very young throughout his life, a devoted, smitten and proud father to his beloved daughter Iva, and best friend and Soulmate to his wife of 41 years, Libby, sharing together their deepest values, beliefs, concerns and love of Truth and Service and History and Art and Music and Children and Animals. They were astonished to discover after marrying that their ancestors were the closest of friends back in Revolutionary Days and had signed the Declaration of Independence together!
He was a wonderful, generous brother to his Sisters, Dorothea (Taya) deMartelly Nelson of Fallbrook, California and Johanne (Joey) deMartelly of Nelson, and a mischievously playful and beloved Uncle and Mentor to a number of now grown up, treasured nieces and nephews, as well as Great nephews and nieces, all great! In laws too adored him. Entirely irreplaceable, Mike has left a worldwide community beside themselves in grief.
Mikey/Papa/Little Brother/Leroy will be achingly missed. He was 72 years young.
The family wishes to profoundly thank the numbers of dear and loving friends and acquaintances and family who graciously and generously assisted them this past year in a multitude of significant and deeply life affirming ways, none of which were overlooked or under appreciated, and all of which meant the world to Mike and Libby and Iva … and to inform them that a celebration of Mike’s life will be postponed until next year.