James's Story

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TAHLEQUAH – Funeral services for James E. Martens will be held Tuesday, April 7, in the Hart Funeral Chapel at 10 a.m. with Pastor Rocky Dickinson officiating. Interment will follow in the Fort Gibson National Cemetery under the care and direction of Hart Funeral Home of Tahlequah. James E. Martens, the son of Edmund E. and Lena (King) Martens, was born Aug. 17, 1921, in Durand, Ill., and departed this life on April 2, 2015, in Tahlequah, at the age of 93 years, 7 months and 16 days. Jim passed peacefully at home with his family by his side. Jim lived at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenn., as a young boy before moving to California with his father and step-mother. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, Calif. After graduation, he worked for the California Highway Patrol as a dispatcher. Jim served his country proudly in the U.S. Air Force as a tech sergeant from 1942 until he was honorably discharged in 1945. Jim worked many years for the Buick Motor Division and was an assistant zone manager when he retired after 33 years of service. Jim enjoyed many things that life had to offer and participated in many activities such as Boy Scouts and boxing, where he won the Golden Gloves at the age of 16 and boxed while in the Air Force. Throughout his life he pursued his love of mountain climbing, golfing, water sports, gardening and fishing. After retiring from Buick Motor Division in Dallas, he and his wife, Barbara, moved to Cookson, where he was able to enjoy his love of fishing and gardening. Jim was proud of his garden and blackberry farm. He had over three-fourths of an acre of blackberries, the best you could get around, and his garden was full of every vegetable you would ever need. Jim loved being outside and working in his garden but his most-cherished time being outdoors was when he was fishing. Jim loved to fish, and some might say he has fished from sea to shining sea. Jim traveled all over the world to fish and had been to South America and Cuba, chasing a trophy to show off. He fished with many different professional fisherman and friends. Jim was dedicated to whatever he would do and strived to do his very best at all of it. Several years ago, Jim and his wife, Barbara, moved to Tahlequah and enjoyed many happy years before his passing. Jim loved his family and friends and he touched many lives over the years and will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him. Jim was preceded in death by his parents; his stepmother, Elizabeth Martens; and a great-grandson, Aidan Williams Craig. He is survived by a loving family which includes his wife of over 45 years, Dr. Barbara Dawes Martens of the home; his children, Heidi Martens and John Martens, both of Medford, Ore.; his sister, Dorothy Verstynnen and husband John of Loves Park, Ill.; two granddaughters; and two great-grandchildren. Many nieces, nephews, friends and other relatives also survive him.
Published on  April 7, 2015
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