Martina Marie Attanasi, Class of 1980
Anyone who know Martina while she was a student at Paul VI was impressed by her. Her skills on the basketball court were outstanding. Her academic achievements were noteworthy. Her warm smile, her charm, and her kindness and compassion won the heart of everyone around her. Martina impacted more people in her 21 years of life than many do in a lifetime.
She was a standout leader on the basketball court scoring her 1,000 career point in her senior year. She was homeroom representative, nominated for homecoming queen, and also played varsity softball. Martina had many fond memories of Paul VI. Meeting Mr. Rowan the dean of discipline for the first time; watching the boys’ varsity football team win the state championship in 1981; boys lined the walls not interested in dancing at the PVI dances; earning senior privileges; the senior trip to Disney World; and graduation day! She had very fond memories of her many teachers and friends at PVI who impacted her life in a very positive way. The school motto “freedom with responsibility” taught Martina how to balance academic responsibilities along with athletic requirements. Martina had the dedication, determination, and strong work ethic to never give up.
Martina was not only an impressive young person, but she was also inspirational to those around her. When she was stricken with cancer during the summer after graduation, it was then Martina‘s light shone brightest. She accepted her disappointment that she could not accept the many scholarships that were offered to her; her regret that, as her health failed, she could do less and less for others. She spent three long years of hope, suffering, and disappointment as various treatments were tried and failed, but she accepted it bravely. And though her spirit sometimes faltered, it never failed. Over 2,000 people attended her viewing service and the Mass was concelebrated by twelve priests. Those who had the privilege of being with her are still inspired by her memory.
“This moment in time is gone forever, so don’t waste the moment, make something of it!”