Laura Dawn Martin, aged 64, died July 9th , 2023, in Portsmouth, VA, from complications related to a
stroke she suffered in 2018.
Born in Honolulu, HI, to parents Ronald and Sharon Dalton, she was the second of four children. At the time, her father was a Musician in the US Navy, and she grew up deeply proud of his service. Some of her childhood was spent in Bakersfield, CA, and then the family relocated to Escanaba, MI, where she completed high school and obtained an associate degree from Suomi College. She also met and married Stephen Martin there, and shortly after marrying, they traveled to San Diego, CA, so that he could begin his Naval career. Their marriage brought them many travels, many joys, a few hard times, and two beautiful children, Kerri and Brennan. After spending four years stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, the family took orders to Maryland and settled in Germantown. Both her children spent their school days there and still think of it as home. Laura developed lifelong friendships there and devoted herself to raising her children. A bittersweet divorce and her oldest child leaving to join the Navy moved Laura to rewrite her story, and she worked tirelessly to put herself through nursing school, graduating from Montgomery College with an associate degree in nursing. She discovered her passion for life in this career and worked as an emergency room nurse until she suffered a stroke later in life. Her caring and empathetic nature was demonstrated daily in her care for her patients.
Soon after graduating and becoming a Nurse, Laura and son moved to Texas to be closer to her mother. They lived in several locations within the Rio Grande Valley and Austin. She traveled through this area as a travel RN, meeting new friends and impacting lives across southern Texas. She loved spending time with her mother while living there, especially their trips to Mexico! She lived for her family, and her infectious laugh and positive attitude always brightened the day of her loved ones and friends.
In August of 2018, Laura had a planned surgery to remove a reoccurring brain tumor and, during the procedure, suffered a stroke leaving her permanently disabled. Unable to walk and having trouble with memory and daily care, she was moved into a long-term care facility in Kyle, TX. Despite the difficulties she faced, Laura never gave up, and she brought joy to the staff and residents every day. One year after this life-altering event, her children moved her to Portsmouth, VA, to be closer to her brother and mother. She finally had her children and her dearly loved family all living in the same location-something she had always hoped for. She loved every second of the time she was able to spend with each of them.
Finally free of her physical and mental limitations, Laura joins her brothers Jeffrey Dalton and Eric Dalton, her mother Sharon Dalton, her father Ronald Dalton, and her nephew Josh Dalton in death. She survived by her children, daughter Kerri Stewart and her husband Michael Stewart; son Brennan Martin and partner Rachael Witt; her brother Craig Dalton and sister-in-law Louise Dalton and their three children, Sarah Hawkinson, Brenda Hawkinson, and Nicole Dalton; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and dear friends.
In this time of grief, there will not be any services, but the family will plan a celebration of Laura’s life at a later time.
Laura will forever be remembered for enormous heart, sense of humor, generosity, loyalty, and love of her family.