Desiree P. Martindale–beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend–passed away on April 10, 2021 at the age of 84 after a short and sudden illness. Desiree–or “Paula” as she was known to her family and close friends–was born in Georgetown, Guyana to Erik C.P. Von Eeden, a Corporate Executive, and Zena Hart Van Eden, a primary school teacher. Paula attended St. Joseph’s High School, Georgetown. She enjoyed a happy and carefree childhood in Guyana growing up under the loving gaze of her family and sharing many years of fun and adventure with her sister, Averil; her brother, Horace (deceased); their extended family, and many friends.
At the age of 18, an independent and courageous Paula left Guyana to study nursing in Chesterfield, Derbyshire England. While attending nursing school, she met a young undergraduate studying at Loughborough College (England), Colin Martindale, whom she would later marry. Colin and Paula moved from England to Barbados where the two pursued their careers; Paula as a nurse at Diagnostic Clinic (formerly, Bailey’s Clinic), Bridgetown and Colin as a faculty member at Harrison College, Bridgetown, Barbados. While in Barbados, Colin and Paula were blessed with their daughter, Nicola.
As a young family, Paula, Colin, and “Nikki” moved to the United States where Colin would pursue graduate studies. Upon arrival, Paula successfully completed the licensure examination for Registered Nurses. She began her work as a Registered Nurse in New York City at Westchester Square Hospital (now Montefiore Westchester Square) and Jacobi Hospital. Within a few short years, the family moved to Long Island, New York where Paula and her family would remain for nearly 30 years. Following their move to Long Island, Paula joined the Manhasset nursing staff of North Shore/ LIJ Hospital (now Northwell Health) where she held leadership positions including Head Nurse and Nursing Care Coordinator. At work she was respected and admired for her excellent clinical skills and professionalism which were balanced by her pragmatism and compassion. She was a mentor to those who were new to the practice of nursing, and a reliable colleague to her peers. An avid reader, she was known for her sharp wit and enigmatic style. Paula–in all settings–was a ‘force of nature’.
Paula and Colin retired to Georgia, and their daughter relocated to New Jersey where she practices law. After retiring Paula and Colin became doting grandparents to twin granddaughters, Lauren and Casey, and divided their time between Georgia and New Jersey. Paula was devoted to her family and selflessly dedicated the last years of her life to nurturing her granddaughters, pouring into them faith, joy, strength, and love.
She leaves behind a loving family and many dear friends.
Paula will be remembered for her irrepressible joy and dauntless drive, rooted in her Christ-centered faith. All who were loved by her, knew it. A fierce advocate, wise counselor, confidante, and loyal friend. She will be missed.
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Autistic Self Advocacy Network
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