Mom was born in Mayfair, Saskatchewan in 1932, and grew up in the home of her grandparents, David and Anna Redekopp. She loved learning, and she always wanted to be a teacher. She started teaching Sunday school in Orley, Saskatchewan, at the age of 14, and after she was married, she taught ladies’ Bible studies, children’s’ Sunday school, and later in her life, she tutored special needs children at Decker Lake Elementary School.
Mom’s Aunt Lizzie had married Abe Martens, and through him mom met his brother, Dave, who she married on June 29, 1948 in Orley. Mom wore a black wedding dress for the ceremony, as was custom, and afterwards, she changed into a blue dress. They first lived in Orley, but moved to Tisdale, where they had their firstborn, Darlene, in April 1949. Frances was born in 1950, followed by Stan in 1952, Gary in 1955, Joyce in 1959, and Melanie in 1965. All but Melanie were born in Tisdale; Melanie was a BC product.
Mom hated moving, but from the time they married until the time she passed away, she moved 20 times, 14 of those moves occurring in the first 16 years of their marriage. She said that if someone was looking for where they lived, to look for the house with the flowers in front. If it didn’t have flowers, it wasn’t her house. While dad liked to move houses, mom liked to move the furniture around, so that you might come home from school and find out that your bedroom had moved.
Mom loved to sew and taught many people the skill. She made clothes for family and others, using her talent for thrift and creativity to make a small amount of cloth go a long way. After she moved to the seniors’ home, she knit many, many bags and boxes of toques, scarves, mittens, socks, and slippers for the homeless, praying for the recipient as she worked on the item. She was humble and generous to a fault. Mom also loved to garden and our family lived on the fruits of her labours. In the 1980s, Mom developed a love of hockey. Her favourite team was the Edmonton Oilers, and her favourite player was Wayne Gretzky. Reading was also important to her, and she introduced her children to the love of reading and learning. She also introduced us to her love of music through CBC Radio.
Education was very important to Mom, and while she was not able to finish high school when younger, she got her GED in 1976, and took a couple of English writing courses from the Open Learning Agency, for which she received excellent marks. She was always pleased when her children did well in school and went on to further education after high school.
Mom was proud to get her drivers’ license at the age of 40, after which she took the course: Ladies Know Your Car, which taught her to change a tire, among other things. Being able to drive meant that mom was able to take a job in town. She worked as a clerk at McLeod’s Hardware Store, did sewing repairs at the drycleaners, as an in-home care aide for seniors for 6 years, (a job she really enjoyed but found difficult, as a number of her clients passed away), as a library assistant and as a tutor for special needs children.
Mom’s faith was very important to her. She was first introduced to Christianity by her grandma as a child, sitting in her lap in the rocking chair, being told about the ChristKind. Mom and Dad first attended the Low German-speaking Mennonite Church, then the Salvation Army Church when Darlene started school (to encourage her to be less shy, and because there was no Mennonite Church in Tisdale). Once they moved to Rosthern, Saskatchewan, they attended the Mennonite Church, after the Sunday school superintendent visited to invite the children. They also attended Mennonite churches while living in Burns Lake, Prince George, Saskatoon, and Abbotsford.
Family increasingly became mom’s life and her interest as she grew older. She was always interested in news of her 13 grandchildren and 27 greatgrandchildren. As her health deteriorated, especially after Gary passed away, she looked forward to her Heavenly home. Her family had the privilege and honour to be with her right to the end.
Mom (Agnes Martha Martens) is survived by five of her children: Darlene Jones (husband Cliff), Fran Buhler (husband David), Stan Martens (wife Leona), daughter in law, Carol, Joyce Siemens (husband Dan), and Melanie Wrobel, and their respective children and grandchildren. She is predeceased by her husband of 63 years, David Martens (2011), her son-in-law, Curtis Wrobel (2017), and son, Gary (2019).
A small graveside service for her immediate family was held at Hatzic Cemetery, BC, on March 31, 2021. We anticipate that a celebration of life will be held in the future.
Mom passed away peacefully in the Glenwood Care Centre in Agassiz early Thursday morning, March 25th.
You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence for the family.
Our condolences to the family, Our last visit was at Terrace East and your mom was sewing potholders that she enjoyed doing, it was a short visit. We also enjoyed going for Sunday lunches with dad & mom along with my brothers & wives, very interesting conversations and good company. So wonderful that mom could go to her heavenly home for Easter. We viewed the Memorial Service on video today, well done! The weather was absolutely wonderful for the service
Dear cousins! Our condolences to you and your families. May you feel the prayers going out on your behalf today, especially. Hard to say good bye to mom. Always enjoyed visiting with your mom. She was a great example on what Christian live looks like. Would love to be with you today. God bless!