Todd Raymond Martin

1976 ~ 2021 (age 44)


How can one sum up such a remarkable life in a few paragraphs?

In the spring of 2020, Todd Raymond Martin was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. Being the private person that he was, he wanted to keep the circle of people who knew about his illness small. Despite receiving treatment, the cancer spread rapidly. We are heartbroken to report that Todd passed away on January 31st at University of Washington Medical Center at the age of 44.

Todd was truly a Renaissance man in every sense of the term. He was a historian, a very gifted writer, impressionist painter, bluesy rock musician, black truffle loving foodie, photographer, explorer, entrepreneur, and a self-taught programmer with a successful career. He was a lover of books, rye whiskey, old typewriters, and roads less traveled.

He was the son of a farmer, a hillbilly, and a gentleman who always put his loved one’s comfort before his own. Todd was a Midwesterner by birth, and a lifelong Ohio State football fan.

He taught literature, rhetoric, and creative writing at Miami University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of South Carolina.

He traveled the world and made friends wherever he went. He lived all over the country, eventually settling in Seattle where he met the love of his life, Danelle Jay and landed his “dream job” at Microsoft, working with a team of people who became an extended family. The impact he has had will last far beyond his time with us. He was a calm and steadying presence, always optimistic and a fighter until his last breath. He was loved by many, and the way he loved others was very evident.

In his typical fashion, he was adamant that no pomp and ceremony surround his passing. His ashes will be dispersed in areas that were meaningful to him. Should any wish to honor his memory further, he requested that any donations made in his name be directed to cancer research facilities such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Donations to the Todd Raymond Martin memorial fund can be made at

Alternatively, Todd was passionate about being a good steward of our natural resources.

Todd and Danelle’s church was the forest, and it would make him smile to know more trees were planted in his memory.

While we are devastated by his death, there is comfort in knowing that his pain and suffering are over. His mother and fiancée were by his side when he passed, holding his hands and reminding him that he is so very loved by so many.

He is survived by both of his parents, his older brother, and his fiancée.

“When you’ve nothing else construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them.”
-Cormac McCarthy



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