Born: May 10, 1891
Died: February 23, 1939
Marriage: Alma Olive White August 9, 1924
Mary Theresa: April 22, 1925
Mathias George: January 3, 1927-March 23, 2004
Monica Rose: May 16, 1928
George Hubert Jr.: August 14, 1929
Marjorie Anne: March 15, 1931
Thomas Joseph: March 30, 1932
June Alda: June 27, 1933
Nona Rachel: October 30, 1936
Tribute to George H. Martens, Stevens Point Daily, Friday, February 24, 1939 by Harold M. Tolo
A great man hath fallen!
The sudden death of our dear friend and fellow citizen, George H. Martens, is a jolt that will be long remembered.
The halls of justice lost a trusty guardsman; civic leadership sees a vacancy in its ranks. A kind husband and tender father will be missed in his family circle. Local eduacational institutions have lost a spokesman. He gave of time and energy in an effort to give his community and his state a stronger educational program. Similarly, he served his church well, and his record was a living tribute to the high place morality should be accorded by every human being.
Denominational schools provided his general education; yet his understanding of, and his interest in secular education was a pleasure to observe. More specifically, his interest in our own Central State Teachers College was ardent, yet discreet.
As a true barrister, he recognized the priority of human rights above all other rights; and he saw in education an instrument for creating much better social understandings. He tried to do things the democratici way even though at times, the process seemed slow and cumbersome.
We loved Mr. Martens. And now that his valedictory has been written, it pleases me that I took the trouble, on several occasions, to tell him that I liked his approach to problems and his philosophy of living.
"If you have a friend worth loving
And let him know that you love him
Ere life's evening tinge his brow with sunset glow;
Why should good words ne're be said Of a friend till he is dead?"
So thankyou, Mr. Martens, for what you have done for our college, city, and community. We shall be better off for having known you. Harold M. Tolo.
|Back row: Mathias, Mary, George, Nona, Alma, Monica. Front row: George Jr, June, Marjorie, Tom. (1937)|
|Back row: Beth(Dan Higgins' friend), Liz (Elizabeth) Carlson, Carol Zaske, Sarah Zaske, Aimee Higgins. Middle row: Nona Higgins, Marjorie Zaske, Sr. Mary Christine, June Carlson, Monica Dinauer. Front row: Nita (Anita) Martens, Alma Martens, Anne Zaske. Picture taken in '86|
|Back row: Peter Zaske, Tim Higgins, Pat Higgins, Bill (William) Dinauer, Dick Dinauer. Middle row: Tom (Thomas) Martens, Matt (Mathias) Martens, Frank Zaske, Tom Higgins. Front row: George Zaske, Alma Martens, Dan Higgins. Picture taken in '86.|
|Sr. Mary Christine, Nona Higgins, June Carlson, Marjorie Zaske, Monica Dinauer|
|June Carlson, Nona Higgins, Marjorie, Zaske, Sr. Mary Christine, Monica Dinauer.|
George H. Martens, prominent local attorney, and member of the state board of normal school regents, died at 2:20 p.m. Thursday, February 23, at St. Michael's hospital. His death resulted from injuries incurred at 11:00 a.m. that morning when his car collided with a truck on Highway 10 at Custer, Wisconsin when returning to Stevens Point from Waupaca where he had represented the town of Plover in a hearing before the Wisconsin industrial commission on adjustment of a non-resident relief claim against the town of Plover. When removed from the wreckage, Mr. Martens was unconscious, in a state of shock, and was found to be suffering from serious head injuries. He did not regain consciousness. Mr. Martens was driving alone toward Stevens Point and his car skidded on icy pavement as it approached the heavy truck.
Mr. Martens was born at De Pere, in Brown County, where his father was also born. He was a graduate of St. Norbert's college at De Pere, where he received a B. A. degree. Then he attended Laval University at Montreal, Canada, one year, after which he was a student for three years at St. Francis' seminary in Milwaukee. He subsequently took post graduate work in letters and science at the University of Wisconsin and then a law course at Marquette University, Milwaukee, where he received his bachelor of law degree. He was admitted to the bar in 1924.
Mr. Martens was located at Fond du Lac for a time and was assistant district attorney of Fond du Lac county in 1924 and 1925. He came to Stevens Point in the fall of 1925 and had since been engaged in the practice of law here. He was one of the partners in the law firm of Martens and Meleski, his partner being the present district attorney, John A. Meleski.
He was appointed to the state board of normal school regents on August 5, 1935, for a five year term, by former Governor Philip F. LaFollette.
His record of public service included membership on the Stevens Point council to which he was first elected, as an at large member, in April, 1931, for a two year term, during the city manager form of government. He was re-elected in April, 1933. Mr. Martens served as president of the council from April, 1932 to February 6, 1934, when he resigned from the council. He also served as a member of the Stevens Point board of health in 1930 and 1931. At the time of his death, he was vice-president of the Portage County Bar association.
Mr. Martens served in the transport service in the United States navy between New York and Bordeaux, France, during the World War I.
Funeral Services for Attorney George H. Martens, will be held Tuesday morning. Rt. Rev. Paul P. Rhode, bishop of the Green Bay diocese, will officiate at the pontifical requiem high mass at 10 o'clock at St. Stephen's church, of which Mr. Martens was a member. It is a singular honor for a layman to be given the last rites of a pontifical high mass. Dr. Anselm Keefe, president of St. Norbert's college at De Pere, will deliver the funeral sermon. The body is at the Crosby funeral home and will be placed in a receiving vault there after the funeral. Burial will take place later in St. Stephen's Cemetery.
The death of Mr. Martens is considered one of the greatest losses to the diocese the Catholic church has experienced in many years.
Surviving are his wife, the former Miss Alma White, a native of Pound, and eight children. The couple were married on August 9, 1924, at the Jesu church at Milwaukee. Mrs. Martens was employed in Milwaukee and the couple became acquainted there. The children are: Mary, age 13, Mathias George, 12, Monica Rose, 10, George Hubert nine, Marjorie Ann, eight, Thomas Joseph, seven, June Alda, five, and Nona Rachel, two. He is also survived by his father, Mathias Martens of Coleman; five brothers, Louis and Harry Martens of Coleman, Ray and Charles Martens of Pound, and Clement Martens of Green Bay, and four sisters, Mrs. Ben Simino and Miss Elizabeth Martens of Coleman and Mrs. Ed Daley and Mrs. John Laundry of Green Bay.
Classes at Central State Teachers college will be dismissed Tuesday morning during the time of the funeral out of respect to the memeory of Mr. Martens, who was a member of the board of Normal School Regents.
St. Stephen's Catholic Cemetery Stevens Point, WI
(Photos courtesy of Dan Heinritz)