Martha

February 6, 1961 ~ June 16, 2020

Born in: Detroit, Michigan
Resided in: La Quinta, California

Martha N. Corbett, 59 years old, resident of Manhattan Beach (2003-2019) and resident of La Quinta (2019-2020), surrounded by her family, passed away on June 16, 2020.

Born February 6, 1961, in Detroit, Michigan, Martha earned her Bachelor of Accountancy from Walsh College and became a Certified Public Accountant. She joined Coopers & Lybrand, LLP in 1983 and was admitted to the partnership in 1999 (of PwC post-merger) as part of the Advisory line of service.

In 2003, Martha transferred from the Bloomfield Hills Michigan office to Los Angeles where she would go on to serve in several national and market leadership roles while serving some of the firm’s largest clients. Martha served as the Advisory Global Mobility and Inbound Market Leader, Managing Partner for Southern California (which included two thousand partners and staff in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas) and on the leadership team for the cross lines of service Market and Diversity Councils before retiring from the firm in 2016.

In addition to her many leadership roles within the firm, Martha was also a leader in the communities she served. Martha held a Community Leadership Board Member role with the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), was a Board Member and Chair of the Annual Campaign for United Way of Los Angeles, and was a Board Member on the St. Anne’s Maternity Home, amongst others. After retirement from the firm, Martha continued on the Board of CHLA and served as a Board Member and Audit Chair of First Foundation Bank.

Held in high regard by her colleagues and the communities she served, Martha was intelligent, hard-working, loyal, and above all – caring. Martha was passionate about the initiatives she championed and was well-recognized for her commitment to others, especially her family. She treasured her children and life partner, cherished every moment with them and would go above and beyond to better their lives. What always mattered most to her was ensuring that her family felt the unconditional love she had for them and support that she would always be there for them. She was an unwavering proponent for all of her children’s endeavors – both personally and professionally.

Martha was the kind of woman who never did anything half-hearted. In addition to becoming the first woman to lead one of PwC’s major markets on the west coast as the Managing Partner for SoCal, she was the top fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, she received the Angel Award from St. Anne’s, she was recognized as a woman of distinction in the downtown Los Angeles area, and she was a wonderful spouse of 33 years – to mention just a few of the notable accomplishments she held dear.

Martha was an avid international traveler, always exploring the world and bringing her family and sisters to experience new countries at every opportunity. She loved throwing parties and gathering those that mattered most together for Sunday night dinners, holidays and birthdays.

She strongly believed in continuous learning, always bettering herself and those around her. She believed that creating an environment that fostered love would help grow all aspects important to her life – growing herself, loving her family, fostering her friendships and appreciating her business colleagues.

Martha’s personal interests were many; she loved gardening, yoga, going to the spa, shopping, cats, best-selling novels, long walks, and conversing with friends and family about books, business or life.  Friendship was extremely important to Martha and her loyalty to those in her life was fierce.  She had many friends, those that she cherished and valued uniquely, and would do anything for them.  She was happy, had a great sense of humor, and loved to laugh.  Her smile and laughter were truly special.

Her family, along with all the lives of friends and colleagues she impacted, are better off having known Martha.  She was someone that you could always count on. She will be missed by many.

Martha is survived by her husband (of 33 years) Tim, children Andrew, Paige (Aaron), Chase, grandchild Savannah, mother Maryhelen and siblings Georgia (Mike), Alan (Karen), Brian, Virginia, Catherine (John), Richard and David.  Martha is also survived by 20 nieces and nephews and Tim’s siblings and their spouses.

Martha is preceded in death by her father Norman and brother Mark.

A funeral service (limited to 100 attendees due to Covid-19) will be held on June 30, 2020 at St. Mels Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to any of the causes Martha held dear – the CJD Foundation, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, St. Anne’s Maternity Home, or Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

 

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  1. candle 5So sorry to hear of Martha’s passing. She and I spent many hours together working on St. Anne’s matters and I always valued her opinion and insights. Blessings to her family!

  2. PAIGE AND AARON
    SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS, A MOM IS FOREVER IN YOUR HEART!
    love,
    The Mader’s Diane , Gregg, Kendall and Ryan.

  3. candle 8I am one of Martha’s older brothers, Alan. My much loved sister, Martha, is one of my eight siblings
    and the youngest daughter of our parents, Norman and Mary Helen Hagood.
    I have been reliving so many dear moments of our childhood and growing up together. First in
    Detroit when our father Norman returned from WWII as a Marine in the Pacific theater to marry
    his sweetheart Mary Helen and bought their first home. When our family grew out of that small
    bungalow we moved to Warren where more little Hagoods joined the clan.
    As a child Martha loved ballet. I would drive her to practice and was delighted by her youthful joy and
    enthusiasm. In later school years Martha learned how to play the flute, not great, but her love for dance and music was so apparent. And cats. Martha always had a stray kitten or a cat, she loved cats
    and they loved her.
    Martha was tenacious and focused when she discovered her career path in Accountancy. She excelled
    and has been so successful and respected in her chosen field.
    I will always remember my sister as a joyful, caring and generous soul. If times were different I would
    attend Martha’s memorial and be with her husband Tim and her children to share in our family’s
    grief and loss and recall my sister who lived her life with such grace and purpose.
    You will always live in my heart dear Martha.
    Your loving brother, Alan.

  4. candle 2Aunt Martha – I wish nothing more than to be there. You were an inspiration and a total rock star. I will never forget you. I love you. Rest In Peace.

  5. Martha was one of the smartest and most caring people I have ever known. She was a sharp businessperson, but always kept things in perspective and was always willing to listen to another point of view. She had a certain glow about her that was always there. She was inspirational as the partner in charge of the Los Angeles office of PwC. As one of her partners there, I will always treasure the twenty years I knew her.

  6. candle 2The PwC Seattle office is so sorry to hear of Martha’s passing and our condolences and thoughts are with her family.

  7. candle 2Martha was my younger sister and a remarkable woman. She has given me so many wonderful memories, especially when she watched my grandson Mason. Love goes on forever and she will always be in my heart. Ginny

  8. Martha was a wonderful partner. She had an inner radiance about her that shown through her beautiful smile. Martha was a trailblazer and a great example and mentor to many. My thoughts and prayers for comfort to her beautiful family as you grieve her loss, but eternal hope as she guides you now from heaven.

  9. candle 7Martha was a true mentor and guide to me at PwC. I would often consult her on matters internal and external and she always brought a great perspective to the discussions. Overtime we became good friends. I am so sorry to learn of her passing. She will be missed by so many.

  10. Martha will be truly missed. She was a lovely thoughtful and compassionate person and my admiration for her integrity and philanthropy influenced my life substantially She was smart and funny and devoted to her family. Our loss is heaven’s addition of a beautiful angel. Love and prayers to her family and friends.

  11. Martha will be missed. She was smart, funny and loving. The example she set was one of integrity, philanthropy and service and she influenced my approach to life. I feel fortunate to have had her in my life. Heaven gained a beautiful angel.

  12. These are such wonderful reminders of a life well lived. I was not fortunate to have more than one mentoring conversation with Martha, but I was glad to have that one! Blessings to family and friends, to cherish all the sweet memories and celebrate her life. God bless.

  13. The roles defined by the ten years between Martha and myself in age changed along the time line of our lives. Big sister, certainly, pseudo parent, maybe, family and friend always; from changing baby Martha’s diaper to shopping for a business suit for her interview at then Coopers/Lybrand. That interview set her on a journey not only to adult independence but a lifetime career of which she deserves high praise. I was raising a young family so our paths diverted for a short time but in the years leading up to her move to California our relationship was again redefined; closer, two working moms giving support to one another, being a sounding board for our hopes and fears, thinking aloud and helping each other “figure it all out”.

    Physical distance makes it easier to let the time slip by unnoticed. I told Martha last winter that my one regret was that we didn’t talk more in these last few years. She responded affirmatively that “we should have talked more”. I could not have loved her more in that moment and I only hope that she could have felt that love. Until you experience such a profound loss as this you cannot grasp the depths of its finality.

    I have a quote that I carry around in my heart that provides me with comfort in times of profound loss. It is from Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet. It goes something like this…If your grief is measured by her worth, then your sorrow will have no end. I know that I can never capture the essence of Martha’s spirit in these few words but my wish is as we who grieve her loss go through our day to day lives and experience a spark that ignites a thought or memory, recognize it, acknowledge it and live that moment out in Martha’s honor; beautiful, brave, brilliant.

  14. candle 7I’m one of Martha’s many friends who considered her a sister.

    I vividly remember the first day I met her. We were at a fundraiser at the Beverly Hills Hotel. She looked like a movie star and I told her so. She laughed her captivating laugh, and told me she‘d had a photo shoot that morning and they had done her makeup professionally. That was the first week of April 2009. Little did I know that day she would play such a significant role in my life…

    She advocated for me to become a
    partner at PwC. She set me up with a wonderful man whom I ended up falling in love with and marrying. She was the star at our wedding and included us in Paige and Aaron’s magical wedding. She continued to be a significant force of happiness in my life.

    We shared our love for chocolate and would indulge from time to time. Then we would giggle about it…. like children. Her authenticity
    always gave her an air of youth – that, her laugh and her perfect skin of course.

    She sought and embraced change with utmost energy – even when she decided to retire early. A senior executive at a young age, she had accomplished so much, and yet she didn’t stop pursuing new goals and helping her family and friends accomplish theirs. Her retirement party was evidence of all the people she had elevated along the way. We all felt like her family. She had that impact. What a gorgeous night that was….

    Most of all, I loved our walks on the beach. We could talk for hours
    and hours. About everything. We would jump from one topic to another and find our way back and connect all the dots in between. And then make fun of ourselves for going down so many rabbit holes.

    My bond with Martha was karmic and other worldly. I know I will see
    her again and pick up exactly where we left off.

    In the meantime, I’m looking forward to watching Savannah grow and participating with family and friends to tell her stories about her grandma.

  15. candle 7To know Martha was to love Martha. She was my colleague, my partner and my friend. We both were navigating being new mothers and our demanding, but rewarding careers, at then C&L. Our husbands both had their own young companies and sacraficed and supported us greatly as we strove to become partners. Martha and I would compare notes and support each other through the early years. [She even gave up her nanny to me when I became a mom (who stayed with us most of our children’s young lives).] I am forever grateful for her friendship, support and partnership. She left the firm, a better partnership, due to her leadership. Those that considered her a friend are truly better for having known her. She led by example and always cared for those around her, we all felt it.

    Tim and family, Bill and I so wish we could be there in person to let you know how sorry we are for your family’s loss. Our love and prayers are with you.

  16. Martha was one of the best professionals I ever worked with. I was managing partner of the Detroit office of C&L/PwC from 1993-2003. One of my fondest memories of C&L was when Martha told me she wanted to move from the audit practice and start a litigation support practice. I said “but Martha you’re about to make partner in the audit group”. She said that she was happy to take her chances with a new business that she could build. It was a struggle for her at first but she was focused and determined and made it work and became a partner in the group she had built in Detroit. After that I watched her career with amazement.

    I am deeply saddened by her passing but I am a better person for having known her. I always considered her to be one of the very best people in so many ways.

  17. candle 7There are no words to explain the loss I feel in losing my dear little sister Martha. She will be forever in my heart.

    I discovered this poem around the time of the Breast Cancer Walk and included it in the photo book of her journey.

    What Will Matter?
    by Michael Josephson

    Ready or not, someday it will all come to an end.
    There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
    All things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
    Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
    Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
    So too your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
    The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
    It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end.
    It won’t matter whether you where beautiful or brilliant.
    Even your gender and skin colour will be irrelevant.
    So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
    What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;
    Not what you got, but how you gave.
    What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
    What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
    What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
    What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
    What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
    What will matter are not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.
    What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
    Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
    It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
    Choose to live a life that matters.
    Martha did.

  18. candle 4Our deepest sympathy to the Corbett and Hagood families in the loss of Martha. Please accept our heartfelt sympathies. Jan and Kathy Hagood Haynes.

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