MAJ STORMOGIPSON, 57
"To love another person is to see the face of God." Maj StormoGipson modeled this for all of us. She knew what it meant to love and be fully alive. Everyone that knew her was struck by how gracious and joyful she was. Maj was born as Marjorie Greer Gipson on May 7, 1956 in Kodaikanal, India to Reverend Tracy Greer and Reverend Marjorie May Lynch Gipson. Her name honored her mother and her grandmother. Maj was the youngest of their six children. Maj spent most of her youth in India until she entered college at the University of California in Santa Cruz. There she met the love of her life, Justin Stormo. They traveled together to India, South Africa and Europe and married in Stavanger, Norway on July 29, 1976, when they became Maj and Justin StormoGipson.
Maj graduated with highest honors from UC Santa Cruz and both she and Justin attended Dartmouth Medical School. After her first year of medical school, Maj gave birth to their first daughter Rachel (Kenna) at their home on July 9, 1980. She completed her internship at Harbor UCLA Medical Center and gave birth to their second daughter, Kate, on April 21, 1984. Maj and Justin enjoyed lives filled with family, friends, action, adventure and service. The year after Maj and Justin finished their internship this young family of four did volunteer medical work in Nicaragua for two years, from 1985-1987. Maj completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of California San Francisco in 1989 and gave birth to their third child, Luke, on December 24, 1989.
The family moved to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho in December of 1991. She was a beloved pediatrician at both Coeur d'Alene Pediatrics and Valley Young People's Clinic. Maj and Justin shared a passion for providing volunteer medical care to underserved communities in Latin America. She loved this service work through the International Eye Institute, most recently at Hospitalito Atitlan in Guatemala.
Maj mastered the art of balancing family and work, friendship, service and play. Her enthusiasm for life was contagious and her concern for others was inspiring. She had a strong commitment to social justice, was active in the Unitarian Church and local Democratic politics. Maj loved water activities of all kinds, especially with her family. She was tragically taken from us on July 26, 2013 in a river rafting accident while with her family on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Our hearts are aching and her presence will be dearly missed.
Maj is survived by her husband, Justin, their three children, Kenna, Kate (Eric) Stormfield, Luke, her mother Marjorie Gipson, siblings: Tracy Gipson, Marcia Christian, Reg Gipson, Carol Calkins, John Gipson and her loyal dog, Diego.
Her memorial service will be held 10:30 A.M. Saturday, August 3, 2013 at the Kroc Community Center, 1765 W Golf Course Road, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho with Yates Funeral Home in care of the arrangements. Maj would prefer memorial donations in her honor be made to the International Eye Institute, 1814 Lincoln Way, Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814; www.eyegive.org