With heartfelt sadness, we announce the passing of Marti Azimi, a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Surrounded by her loving family, Marti passed away peacefully on Monday, August 17, 2020 at Beth Shalom Village.
Marti was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1941. She was the first of three daughters to William F. Hundley and Louise P. Hundley. She attended Ashland High School where she could be found playing the saxophone or the lead in the school play.
After attending the University of Kentucky, she moved with her family to Mechanicsville, VA where she began taking flying lessons at the Richmond airport. A chance encounter with a handsome young pilot at the beginning of his aviation career led to a well lived life of 50 years of marriage, world travel and two beautiful daughters.
The next chapter brought a transatlantic move to Malta where she spent her time volunteering, gardening, entertaining and playing bridge. Her backyard was filled with lemon, orange and fig trees. Her home was filled with a medley of birdsong and the sound of little girls laughter. As the wife of a Captain with Air Malta and the President of the Women’s Club, she hosted everything from backyard birthday parties to fancy soirées. Memories made on that little island remain big in our hearts.
In 1984, an opportunity presented with a new airline, which brought the family back to the United States where she would raise her children in Virginia Beach. She volunteered in her daughters schools where she could be found reading to young listeners in the elementary school library or making baklava for middle school Greek mythology projects.
She was predeceased in death by her parents and her sisters, Mary Lane Newman and Myra Lee Hurston. She is survived by her loving husband, Wali and two daughters, Lesa Leiden and Kristina Costello. She was a beloved Bubbie to her eldest daughter, Lesa’s children, Lara (17) and Taegen (13) and her youngest daughter, Kristina and husband Caseys’s children, Quinn (8) and Declan (3).
She was an amazing woman of indomitable spirit and the definition of a true lady from head to toe. She will be remembered as the proud and loving matriarch of her family who could be found watching Peppa Pig with her grandchildren, immersed in a book while sunbathing by the pool or snuggled up with her beloved Yorkie, Ziva. She spent the last 13 years as a dedicated volunteer in the religious department at Beth Shalom Village. Making people happy made her happy.
A celebration of life will be held and live-streamed from Forest Lawn Cemetery on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 2:00 pm. Services will be performed by Cantor Elihu Flax, Director of Religious Services at Beth Shalom Village.
***Due to connection issues at Marti’s service the introductory remarks was not recorded. However, the following text is that of Cantor Flax’s which he would like to share with everyone:
Good afternoon, and shalom to all. My name is Cantor Elihu Flax, Director of Religious Services at Beth Sholom Village, where Marti Azimi was a beloved volunteer for thirteen years, and spent the last six weeks of her life as a fellow resident. We gather here today to bid a heartfelt, sad, but warm farewell to Marti.
Marti always remembered her roots. She shared with me often stories about her grandparents, especially Grandpa Peck, and her parents. And we spoke about our geographic family coincidences: both her parents and my father were born in Huntington, West Virginia, and Marti was born in Louisville, KY, where I lived three years serving as Cantor in one of the synagogues there.
Marti was close to her two sisters who predeceased her. She was married to Wali for fifty years, and they raised two beautiful children, Lesa and Tina. And as grandma, tata and bubbie, her home was the weekend second home to her grandkids Lara, Taegen, Quinn, and Declan. Marti often enthusiastically shared with me their accomplishments.
The words “Beloved volunteer” only hints at her relationships with the Beth Sholom residents and their families. My “right hand” person on campus, Marti developed a close bond with residents through the required Spiritual Assessments forms. She in most cases did the initial interview, and then later would continue to see them often in their rooms, offering comfort, support, and friendship. This is in addition to her loving presence at weekday and holiday services, helping me and our other volunteers Ben and Vergie. As I have begun sharing the sad news of her passing, residents, breaking into tears, said to me what an unusually special person she was. She will be deeply missed.
Present here today in tribute to Marti are husband Wali, daughters Lesa, and Tina with Casey, Casey’s parents Dick and Dina, his sisters Katie with Scott, and Kristen with Brandi, grandchildren Lara, Taegen, Quinn, and Declan, and also Marti’s dear friends.
May Marti’s memory be a blessing.
Altmeyer Funeral Home- Southside Chapel is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk, at 2:00 PM. For those who cannot attend or wish to socially distance, Altmeyer Funeral Home has coordinated a live stream service for all those who still wish to be a part of the service. To watch the service please click HERE at the date and time listed.