David Williams Martens passed away on Sunday, August 27, 2006 at Glenwood Rest Home, Agassiz at the age of 94 years, after a brief illness. He was born March 2, 1912 in Mountain Lake, Minnesota.
Dave is survived by son, Dennis (Penny) Martens; daughter, Diane (Garry) Pohl; grandson, Ryan Pohl; granddaughters: Fiona Martens (Kiu Ghanavizchian), Paula Martens & Joanna Martens; great-grandsons: Evan & Ethan Pohl.
He was predeceased by his wife, Nora Martens, January 4, 2000.
Dave was the ninth child in what would eventually become a family 18 children. His parents were Russian Mennonites who immigrated to America in 1905. When Dave was seven months old, the family immigrated to Canada and lived in Borden, SK.
Dave was handy with tools and loved to fix farm equipment at an early age. He did mechanical work for Nelson Transfer Co. in Nelson, BC in the 1930’s. In 1940 he moved to Vancouver and did an apprenticeship as an aircraft mechanic with Canadian Pacific Airlines. He enlisted in the Canadian Army in 1942 and married Nora Oliver that same year.
“The twins” Dennis and Diane were born in 1943. He was then shipped off to Kingston, Ontario for training as a machine gunner in preparation for his deployment overseas. However, a 40’ fall into a ravine during training left him with a badly broken back and put him in hospital in Kingston and Vancouver for most of the next year.
In 1946 he moved to Yarrow and went into business with his brother-in-law, Herb Martens. Together they ran a successful garage and bulk oil business until Herb’s tragic death in 1961. From 1961 until his retirement, Dave continued to run Martens Motor Service in Yarrow.
He put a lot of hard work into his business but was also an avid hunter and fisherman. He also loved golf and became a very accomplished player even into his 80’s. He was a founding member of the Chilliwack Golf & Country Club, where he and Nora spent many years perfecting their game.
Following Nora’s death in 2000, Dave had some difficult times. In the next year-and-a-half he broke both hips and was confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life. He never complained about this except from time to time he would say “old age sure ain’t for sissies.”
We sure will miss him.
A memoral service will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006 at 11 am at Woodlawn Funeral Chapel, 45865 Hocking Ave, Chilliwack. Pastor Brian Wiebe officiating.