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Rodney Wilson Martens, age 66, passed away on Monday, June 5, 2017, following a long battle with leukemia. Rod was at home surrounded by his family.
Born August 10, 1950 to Reinhold and Leona Martens, Rod grew up on the Martens’ family farm northeast of Curtis. He attended Bethel Grade School and District 38, Moorefield. Rod graduated from UNSA in Curtis in 1968. He then attended UNSTA, earning his degree as a veterinary technician, in 1970.
Rod married Janis Lee Fletcher on March 28, 1970 at the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Curtis. They lived in Washington D.C, El Paso, Texas, and Munich, Germany during Rod’s time in the Army. He was discharged from the service in 1973 with the rank of Spec V.
Their oldest daughter, Krista, was born in Germany. After his service years, Rod moved his family to Hamlet, Nebraska and worked as a hired man. Two more daughters, Valerie and Kara, were born and then the family moved back to the Curtis area in 1978. They rented a farm house north of Moorefield and Rod worked construction for several years before starting his own farming and cattle operation in 1980. Their fourth daughter, Jessica, completed their family.
While their family grew up, Rod and Janis enjoyed teaching the girls all about the farm and cattle, remodeling their home, going deer hunting in the fall, and boating and skiing with friends and family on Sunday afternoons in the summer. They raised their family in the Faith Fellowship church that Rod and Janis helped begin with several other families in the area. They remained there until the congregation grew so large that they needed to move to a new building in town now known as The Vineyard. Rod was also Easter Pageant properties director, in charge of the set-up, tear-down, and running things behind the stage for over 30 years. Attending church, being an active part of a congregation, and sharing his faith with loved ones was a vital part of his life.
In 1998, Rod and Janis moved to their current home south of Curtis. Rod began working at NCTA on the maintenance crew utilizing his knowledge of plumbing, carpentry, electricity and mechanics. Rod and Janis loved to spend time with their kids, grandkids, and each other. Rod maintained his sense of humor till the very end.
Rod is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Janis; along with their 4 daughters: Krista Medo (Moe LaVine) of Potsdam, New York; Valerie Johnson (Tom) of Monument, Kansas; Kara Larshus (Curt) of Oakley, Kansas; and Jessica Saner (Jesse) of Sutherland, Nebraska; 11 grandchildren: Alyssa Medo; Andelyn, Jaelle, Brynn and Hallee Johnson; DaNae, Noah, Ian, and Caiden Larshus; Jackson and Jonah Saner; his mother, Leona Martens of Curtis, NE; two sisters, Jody Seger (Gary) of Monte Vista, CO and Sandi Cole (Jim) of Hayes Center, NE; mother-in-law, Devona Latimer of North Platte, NE and many other loving nieces, nephews and relatives.
Rod trusted he’d be reunited with loved ones in heaven and looked forward to being greeted there by those gone before him: his father Reiny Martens, fathers-in-law Leo (Hap) Fletcher and Clarence Latimer, sister Debbie Cole, and granddaughter Karinne Larshus.
Visitation will be held at Blase-Wetzel-Strauser Memorial Chapel, Curtis, Nebraska; Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm. with the family present from 5-7.
Funeral Services will be held at Curtis Community Center, Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 10:00 am.
Interment will follow in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Nebraska at 2:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials be made to Be The Match Foundation in honor of Rodney Martens. www.bethematch.org
To sign the online guest book, go to www.blasestrauser.com.
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