By Mary Foppiano
Sharon met Martin Suits in her last quarter at UCLA, where she graduated as an English major. After they were married, they moved to Hanford, CA, and she taught English from 1976 – 1988. Sharon then obtained her Administrative Services credentials in elementary administration and was an assistant principal in three districts. She retired in 2007 after 32 years in education but remained active in her Hanford community, where she and Martin lived in the same home from 1977 – 2018.
Martin was born in Visalia and moved to Avenal when he was 6 months old. After the loss of his father, his family moved to Huntington Beach. He went to UC Irvine and then UCLA for a BA in English. Martin got his law degree from Western State University in Fullerton. After passing the bar, he and Sharon returned to Harford, where he worked for an attorney, ran for election, and became the youngest judge elected 26 years old.
Martin became a circuit rider judge for 18 years and was assigned to 50 of the 58 CA counties. For 6 years, he shared the county master calendar court in Van Nuys. After that, he was an administrative judge for the Judicial Council, Chief Justice for the Supreme Court, and on special assignment for complex civil litigation. Martin was a Superior Court judge in Fresno County for 11 years and was on the bench for 37 years.
Sharon and Martin were active with their two children, Eric and Rachel, who have followed in their parents’ footsteps. Eric is an attorney, and Rachel is an educator. As they were growing up, they were involved in dance, water polo, swimming, and soccer. Sharon was a board member and volunteer at their local Art Center and has continued to give back to her community as a volunteer from the time her children were born.
In 2012, Sharon and Martin moved to Avila Beach part-time until moving full-time two years ago. Sharon said that she worked on the revision of San Luis Bay Mobile Estates CCRs when they first moved here and was voted on the HOA board the following June…and has remained on the board and has been president for all but one year since that time. Sharon and Martin have been in charge of the barbeque picnics at the Club House for the summer months over the past six years. She said one of the most fun projects was the Club House kitchen’s remodel, which was completed right before the pandemic lockdown…and we are all looking forward to seeing it in action when the Club House is allowed to open….hopefully, soon.
Martin has been vice president and on the San Luis Bay Estates master board on the legal affairs committee. He has also been on the San Miguelito Mutual Water Company board of directors for three years and was involved in the Ad Hoc Committee for the general plan update “Envision Avila” of the Avila Valley Advisory Council.
When I asked Sharon and Martin what they enjoyed in addition to family time, they said cruises to places like the Panama Canal with Avila Beach friends and travel to England, Italy, France, and China, to mention just a few locations. They also said that they enjoy getting to know people better, giving back, and helping their community. I must interject one way that Sharon has really helped us raise funds for the Avila Beach Community Center because she prepares her delicious marinara sauce for each of our Spaghetti Dinners/Bingo Nights. Sharon and Martin are a terrific couple who have been married for 45 years and continue to enjoy working and playing together for the benefit of all of us!