Harry Martens

Harry Martens

1935 - 2009 

Martens HarrySQ.jpgHarry Martens, 74, of Winkler, Manitoba, on Sunday, November 8, 2009, at Boundary Trails Health Center, after an 8 week hospital stay, with his family at his side, went to be with his Lord and Saviour.

Dad was born to Abraham and Margaret Martens of Roseisle on April 30, 1935.  He was the youngest son of eight children.

Dad loved many things in life and work was one of them.  He had a number of jobs during his life, most of them involving farming. He always treated the yards he worked on as if they were his own, taking great pride in keeping them in order. The last 20 years of his working life were spent with Kroeker farms of Winkler. Dad’s eight, hour work day was usually completed by lunch, at which time he had his noon meal, a short nap, then back outside to finish his day sometime after supper. 

Another one of dad’s loves was hockey with Toronto Maple Leafs being his team. Saturday nights at the Marten’s home meant hamburgers and hockey, which were eaten on TV trays while watching the hockey game. Intermissions were often spent on the phone with Uncle Fritz discussing whether the goal should have been allowed, or whether the penalty was a bad call. It seemed like they both enjoyed these times as much, if not more than the game itself. 

After dad retired, most of his spare time was spent helping Don and Sara on their country yard mowing, tilling, cutting wood and whatever he could do to help. Don and Sara still get comments on how nice the yard looks.  Don responds that he has a fulltime yard maintenance man who does all the work. Don said that it wasn’t until dad had his first knee surgery that he actually had to mow the lawn. Even while working around the yard grandchildren held a special place in dad’s heart. One day as Sara looked out the window there was dad, drinking cold coffee out of his sealer jar while he visited with Derek who was playing in the sandbox. Dad always found special ways to get the job done .One day dad could be seen driving the tractor down Don and Sara’s long driveway with an old cow in tow, off for a visit to the neighbors farm. Gardening was always a joy for mom and dad. For many years they had a garden at Don and Sara’s yard, which meant competition. Whose potatoes were bigger and why, who planted sooner and who had taken better care of their garden were all things that led to fun discussions. 

The greatest love in dad’s life was his Lord and Savior. In 1961, dad was baptized upon confession of his faith at the Winkler Sommerfelder church by Bishop John Friesen. Mom and Dad have been life members of the Zion Mennonite church since the church’s beginning in 1980. Dad loved his church family and his pastors. He served as an usher for many years and enjoyed greeting the people so much. When walking became difficult for him, he would make sure he was at church early enough so he could sit in his favorite chair, and greet everyone that came by. Dad was eventually asked to open the doors on Sunday morning, because he was always the first one there. He also had a favorite pew in the sanctuary where he sat for many years. From this spot, after a special number often came a “thanks for the singing,” which came from the heart. After the service, a handshake or big hug were usually given to the pastor. 

On August 5, 1962, mom and dad were married in the old colony church in Chortitz. Their marriage of 47 years was blessed with 4 children Eddie, Linda, Don and Pauline. Mom and Dad lived on various homesteads from La Riviere, to Winkler and finally retiring to the town of Winkler in 1994. The bond of love between mom and dad became very evident when dad was admitted to the hospital during his eight week stay. There was not one day that mom missed visiting him. When we came to visit, mom and dad would often be sitting together just spending time with each other.  Dad had a great love for his family, always willing to generously help his children and grandchildren. When walking became extremely difficult for dad, he invested in a motorized scooter. He put many miles on it touring around the town and even Schanzenfeld. He would often stop in at Marv and Pauline’s just to chat and see what we were doing, sometimes even taking some of the grandchildren for a short ride on it. This brought such joy to him, that when a newer faster model came out, he upgraded. 

Dad is survived by his wife, Nettie, one son, Don and his wife Sara, their children Derek and Rachael. One Daughter Pauline and her husband Marvin and their children, Dayna, Matthew, Ashley and Kennedy. He is also survived by two sisters, and two brothers. Dad was predeceased by his parents, two children in infancy, Eddie and Linda and one Grandson Joel in infancy. He was also predeceased by two sisters and one brother.  

He was predeceased by a son, a daughter and a grandson all in infancy. 

Funeral service was held on Thursday, November 12, 2009 at Zion Mennonite Church and interment followed at the Church Cemetery in Schanzenfeld. 

The family would like to thank Dr. Abbu and all the nursing staff at the Boundary Trails Health Center for the great care given during dad’s hospital stay. Jeff, a healthcare aide, had a special way of connecting with dad that he especially enjoyed. We would also like to thank the staff at the Health Sciences Center who showed us such great compassion when we heard the difficult news. The ambulance staff that brought dad back to Winkler also went the extra mile to help ease the pain. The prayer support that we have gotten from all our church families and friends is very much appreciated. We know that this is what has kept us going. We would also like to thank everyone involved in the funeral service that has helped to make this a special day for our family.

Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler in care of arrangements.

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