Gary Martens, of Mora, died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. He was 76 years old.
CELEBRATION OF LIFE will be held on Saturday, June 18th; 11:00 A.M. at Calvary Lutheran Church in Mora.
VISITATION will be on Friday, June 17th from 6:00-8:00 P.M. at Akkerman-Ingebrand Funeral Home in Mora, plus one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church.
** MEMORIALS PREFERRED IN LIEU OF FLOWERS.
Garrett (Gary) Martensdied peacefully at home on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. He was 76 years old.
He was born on May 18, 1935 at home in Hillman Township, Mora, Minnesota to Dewey (Duke) and Cora (Wilkens) Martens, where he resided on the family farm most of his life. He was baptized and confirmed into the Christian faith at Calvary Lutheran Church in Mora.
He attended Wilkens Elementary School through eighth grade and graduated from Mora High School in 1953. On June 19, 1954, he was united in marriage to his life long partner, Ella Ovidia Mathison at Calvary Lutheran Church. From this union, they were blessed with three children. From Feb. of 1957 to Feb. of 1959, he voluntarily enlisted in the United States Army and was part of 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper. After returning from the service, he worked at Our Own Hardware (Gorham’s), which permitted him to obtain his Master Plumbing License. In 1965, he and his brother, Donald, purchased the family farm and established the Martens Brother’s Dairy operation. In 1982, he heard that dairying wasn’t going to be too good and they needed a sideline. The brothers then began the commercial manure pumping business, Martens’ Manurigation, which soon evolved into a full time business. In 1983, Richard, Gary’s son, joined the partnership and operates the business today.
Playing the accordion gave him and others much joy throughout his entire life. During his high school years, he worked on the family farm and around the community doing odd jobs to earn money to buy his first accordion. He especially enjoyed the time he spent with his son, Rick, sharing God’s word through the Polka Praise Services. Also, he played for senior dances, many benefits and community events. Throughout his life, he had been very active and served on many boards and participated in many community events. In 2008, Gary and Ella were named Outstanding Senior Citizens of Kanabec County.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Duke and Cora; daughter in infancy (Carolyn), and son (Gregory); and sister, Audrey Mattson.
He is survived by his wife, Ella, and son, Richard (Janet) of Mora; two grandchildren, Ryan (Alicia) Martens of Mora, Randi (Josh) Maynard of Duluth; and two great grandchildren, Keira Jo-Lynn and Jordan Dean Maynard; daughter-in-law, Sandy Martens-Bankers, brother, Donald (Lenore) Martens of Mora; sister, Nancy (Don) Holzkamp of Davis, Illinois; as well as many nieces, nephews, and extended family, friends, dancers, and acquaintances who had the pleasure of knowing him.