Martha O’Donnell Pagel

Honoring the loving memory of

Martha O’Donnell Pagel

1953 – 2019

Salem, Oregon

The Martha O’Donnell Pagel Fund for Research of Rare Cancers 

Investing in Research of Extrapulmonary Neuroendocrine Small Cell Cancer

Martha died of extrapulmonary neuroendocrine small cell cancer on July 19, 2019.  For those who did not know her well, a jump to this link will be a worthwhile experience, providing an opportunity to meet and to learn more about this truly remarkable woman.  

Martha provided outstanding service to the State of Oregon for 17 years as an Assistant Attorney General, Director of Division of State Lands, Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor, and Director of State Water Resources.  And since 2000 she has been a highly sought after attorney in private practice emphasizing water law.  Yes, she knew her stuff.  Yet – it was her soft and gentle albeit transparent approach that made her so very extraordinary.  Recounted one of her coworkers:

“She was by far the best, nicest, wisest, and brightest person I ever worked with – she had all those traits combined – in my 45 years of legal practice. How lucky I was to have the chance to know her, work with her, and become friends with her.”

From a caring relative, reflecting on Martha’s cancer journey:

“I admired her strength and optimism throughout her struggles and pray that when my time comes, I can be half as brave as she was.  I also admire the way she pushed herself to make the most of the ‘good days’ she was given in the midst of all of the pain and disability.  She was a real trouper and is a stunning role model for anyone dealing with life-altering and life-threatening illness.”

Above it all, it was declared about Martha and Vic and their marriage of more than 40 years:  

“You two are a love story that we admire and aim to be.”  

So what are we to do?  Martha will unquestionably be remembered and loved forever by many.  But in the meantime the process of striving to rid this earth of cancer can be jolted forward with financial donations in Martha’s name from folks who are able.  With that in mind, this Tribute to Martha includes the goal of raising $450,000, of which $421,275 has been donated and earmarked for one or more of following NETRF Awards: Accelerator, Investigator, Pilot, and Mentored.  All donations to the Martha O’Donnell Pagel Fund for Research of Rare Cancers will be carefully utilized for research dealing with extrapulmonary neuroendocrine small cell cancer. 

To donate to the Martha O’Donnell Pagel Fund for Research of Rare Cancers

Donate online to the Martha O’Donnell Pagel Fund for Research of Rare Cancers

All gifts to Martha’s Fund are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Checks payable to NETRF/Martha O’Donnell Pagel.  Please mail to:  

NET Research Foundation
31 St. James Avenue, Suite 365
Boston, MA 02116

For questions about making a gift to Martha’s Fund, please contact our Development Coordinator, Laken Baird at or call us at 617-946-1780.