Martha Illick, homesteader and conservationist

Marty Illick and her husband Terry died April 19th, 2021 in a boating accident by their house on Lewis Creek in Charlotte, Vermont.

Marty, daughter of Rowland and Edith Illick, was born on August 31, 1950 in Middlebury, Vermont.  Rowland’s work as a geography professor led to frequent travel for the family, including two years living in Beirut, Lebanon.  Marty graduated from Middlebury Union High School in 1968 and from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, in 1972 with a degree in Cultural Anthropology.  She spent her winter term of senior year in Togo, West Africa, studying the village market system for her thesis.  

Marty’s personality was punctuated by smiles, unique exclamations, and a hearty infectious laugh.   She was curious, compassionate, and drawn to treading lightly upon this earth. She thrived working in the Vermont creative start-up atmospheres of Shelburne Spinners, Free Mountain Toys, and Earth’s Best Baby Food.  

Marty and Terry met working at Free Mountain Toys.  They were married at their house on Valentines Day 1986 and their daughter, Tai, was born later that year.

For the past two decades Marty worked as Executive Director of the Lewis Creek Association, preserving and protecting precious waters and land. Marty’s work serves as a model for watershed associations across the state.  She also served on the Charlotte Selectboard, the Charlotte Planning Commission, the Charlotte Land Trust, the Vermont Natural Resources Board, and many other boards and commissions.  

Marty loved tending her homestead and the river that ran through it. She loved growing, preparing, and sharing the bounty of her gardens.  Her last three years were brightened and invigorated by the regular presence of her grandson, whom she cared for three days a week. She leaves an active legacy of conservation and passion for living close to the land.

Family Information

Marty is survived by her daughter Tai Illick Dinnan (Evan Webster) and adored grandson, Lior. She is also survived by siblings Ginny Jaskot (Ken), Scilla Siano (Jim), John Illick Jr. (Beth), and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.