Claire Marty

Claire Marty

OXFORD, England – Claire Elizabeth Gilbert Marty died on Saturday, March 19, 2016, at Papworth Hospital in England. Her friends and family around the world are mourning her sudden passing. She is remembered as a sweet, kind, creative and thoroughly beautiful friend, with an incredible capacity to love everyone around her for precisely who they are.

Claire was born in Sacramento, Calif., on the sixth of October in 1987, to Sabina and Mark Gilbert. Music and soccer filled her childhood. Her 10 years in the Sacramento Children's Chorus nurtured her lifelong love of music.

Her passion for soccer took root while playing as a child and through high school. Claire loved the beauty and strategy of the game - a love that persisted, undiminished, after three ruined knees left her unable to play - and became an avid fan of professional soccer.

Central to her passion for these activities was the importance of friends and communities. Her childhood was not just filled with music and soccer but with teams and choruses that became extended families.

In 2006, Claire graduated from Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento and ventured to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., where she cultivated her love of literature and writing as an English major.

She was a member of the St. Olaf College Cantorei; studied in Norway, Italy and Germany; coached youth soccer; and made many dear friends. It was here that she met Michael Marty, who was studying chemistry and math. The two became great friends through their participation in the Great Conversation program, and they began dating their senior year.

In May of 2010, Claire and Michael graduated from St. Olaf and relocated to Urbana, where they married on July 15, 2011. Claire worked as an assistant and then developmental editor at Human Kinetics Publishing while Michael studied for his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Illinois.

Once Michael completed his Ph.D. in 2013, Claire and Michael moved to Oxford, England, where they enjoyed traveling, English culture and soccer, and a new community of friends.

While Michael continued his chemistry career as a postdoctoral research associate at Oxford University, Claire was able to focus on and develop a long-nurtured and closely guarded passion: her creative writing. She leaves behind a treasured legacy of notebooks and files filled with ideas, short stories and a novel very near completion.

Just weeks before moving back to the U.S., Claire came down with a sudden and aggressive lung infection, which took her life far too soon. With Claire's passing, we have seen the shape of her life in the outpouring of compassion and kindness from those who knew her. We find that this young woman, a most humble and unassuming of souls, has made a profound impact on the world around her through her kindness and humanity. We are all sweeter, braver and gentler - each of us a better person for having known her. The love that she gave and received will continue on.

Claire is survived by her husband, Michael Marty; her parents, Sabina and Mark Gilbert, and her brother, David Gilbert of Sun Valley, Idaho; her grandmother, Pat Doval of Sacramento, Calif.; and her many aunts, uncles and cousins. She is also survived by her parents-in-law, Ann and Tim Marty, and sister-in-law, Leah Marty, of Monticello; and her brother-in-law, Philip Marty.

Memorial contributions may be made in the name of Claire Elizabeth Gilbert Marty to St. Olaf College, 1520 St. Olaf Avenue, Northfield, MN 55057, and can be made online at Contributions will be used to support and encourage young creative writers and the college.

Contributions may also be made in memory of Claire Elizabeth Gilbert Marty to the Sacramento Children's Chorus, 25 Cadillac Drive, No. 100, Sacramento, CA 95825.

There will be a memorial service for Claire at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Urbana.