Age 59 died in her sleep at her home in Lansing on July 24, 2012. She was born December 18, 1952 to Donald and Metta (O’Dell) Popoff. Rebecca was the oldest in a family of nine children. From the moment of birth, Rebecca’s irrepressible free spirit captivated and challenged all those who loved her.
A gifted artist, she was never more focused or joyful than when painting, drawing, or printmaking. She was passionate in every creative endeavor be it a large painted mural, lithograph, handmade card, or signs for her son’s school carnival. She leaves behind for her family and friends to cherish countless pieces of beautiful artwork. Rebecca was an avid walker her entire life and was often easily recognized by her distinctive, galloping stride. Her storytelling of real events was so engaging and humorous it rarely mattered to the listener what was truth and what was embellishment. And often, what one thought must be embellishment turned out to be truth.
Following the birth of her son George, Rebecca began a long period of service to others. She dedicated countless hours to improving her South Lansing neighborhood, volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club, Pleasant View Elementary School and working with and advocating for families during many years of employment at the Ingham County Health Department. In addition, her enthusiasm for holiday lawn decor will be remembered and missed. Along with creating her own festive displays, she honored the efforts of others, often leaving anonymous notes of praise in strangers’ mailboxes throughout the city.
In 1998, Rebecca married Tom Martin and together with Rebecca’s son, George and Tom’s daughter, Margaret, they formed a new family. Tom remained Rebecca’s loving companion until her death.
Rebecca shared her life with Tom, her parents, her many siblings, her large extended family and many friends. They all loved and will miss her dearly. She leaves many cherished nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews and cousins, who will no doubt hear her many stories retold as family lore and legend. She held a special place in her heart for her youngest nephew, Kyle Gunger.
Rebecca was preceded in death by her son, George and it gives great comfort to her family to envision them now as reunited. Rebecca will be remembered in a private ceremony. Condolences and memories to the family are welcomed at www.estesleadley.com