James D. Martens, age 94, of Marengo, formerly of Conroy, died Monday, January 19, 2015 at the Marengo Memorial Hospital. The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 P.M. Thursday, January 22, 2015 at Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo. A Memorial Service will follow at 7:00 P.M. with Rev. Don Dovre officiating, with VFW service after. Private Inurnment: First Lutheran Cemetery, rural Conroy. A memorial fund has been established.
James Donald Martens was born October 31, 1920 in Hamilton County, Iowa, the eldest child of Elmer K. and Desse G. Engelbert Martens. Early in his life, the family moved to his mother’s farmstead west of Conroy, Iowa, where James completed his education at the Conroy Hilton High School in 1939.
He answered his country’s call, entered the U.S. Army, and served overseas during World War II, stationed in Germany and Italy. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. James was a proud veteran and was a life member and past Commander of V.F.W. Post 8797 and a lifelong member of the American Legion Post 228, both of Williamsburg.
After the death of his father, Jim took over the family farming and trucking business, hauling livestock, rock, lime and liquid fertilizer for over 55 years. He was active in the community, serving 27 years on the board of directors of the Conroy Farmers Co-op, 20 years on the Iowa County REIC Board, and was one of the original officers of the Conroy Service Company. He was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Williamsburg. His hobbies included working with wood, golfing, and tinkering with older Harley Davidson golf carts. He also enjoyed playing cards.
On one of his many pleasure trips to Cedar Rapids, Jim met the love of his life and future bride at the then famous Danceland Ballroom. Jim and Helen Bevins were wed on April 6, 1948 at Van Horne, Iowa. They were blessed with 58 years together until her passing in 2006.
Jim is survived by his sons, Dale and wife Carolyn, and Richard and wife Kathy, all of Conroy; three grandchildren, Brad, Ryan, and Jenna Martens; four great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson. Also surviving are sisters, Ethel Cook of California, and Vera Bowman of Williamsburg, and two sisters-in-law, Patricia Martens of Williamsburg, and Eileen Bevins of Van Horne. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Helen, a sister Esther Folkmann, a brother Robert Martens, four brothers-in-law, and three nephews.