Gordon and Jill Martens
September 7, 2021
Gordon Louis Martens and Nona Jill (Hougham) Martens passed from this life on September 7, 2021. Visitation will be held on September 13, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Veterans Reception Center, 910 Main Street, Van Meter, Iowa. Funeral services will be held at the same location on September 14, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., with committal services at Iowa Veterans Cemetery at 11:00 a.m., and a luncheon to follow back at the reception center.
The perfect couple. However you knew them – as Gordon and Jill, or Mom and Dad, or Grandma and Grandpa, or Aunt Jill and Uncle Gordon, or Gordie and Jill – you could not help but to admire their lifelong partnership and love story. They laughed together. Sang together. Danced together. Worshiped together. Traveled together. They took care of each other. They honored each other. They loved each other. And when it was time to leave the burdens of this world behind, and move on to greater glory, they made the journey together.
Gordon was born at his Aunt Kate's house in rural Van Meter on December 9, 1939. Growing up, he attended Trinity Lutheran Church with his parents, Lou and Anna Martens, and his two brothers, Kenny and Gene. Gordon graduated from Van Meter High School in 1957. He joined the Iowa Air National Guard in December 1960, and served an accomplished and lengthy military career. He was commissioned as a Captain in November 1979, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1995. No one was more patriotic than Gordon. He loved his country, and his fellow Guardsmen. His involvement with the Guard did not end or fade away when Gordie retired. To the contrary, he and Jill seemed to enjoy Guard events and gatherings even more in retirement. Gordon was kind, strong, and steady, always willing to lend guidance and leadership, whenever and wherever called upon.
Jill was born on June 28, 1942. Growing up, she attended Booneville United Methodist Church with her parents, Everett and Lucylle Hougham, and her sister, Jean. Jill graduated from Van Meter High School in 1960. She received her nursing license from Iowa Methodist Medical Center in 1963. After working as a nurse for a brief period, she transitioned to stay-at-home mother and wife when Valerie was born in 1966, followed by Dan in 1968. Although not practicing, Jill forever retained her pride of being a nurse, keeping her license current for several decades. Jill was kind, gentle, and sincere, always ready to get to work, and never one to complain or procrastinate. She took care of others in many ways, but especially through her baking of cookies.
Gordon and Jill were married in the Booneville United Methodist Church on October 26, 1963. Living in Booneville for more than 40 years, they moved to their home in rural Van Meter in 2007, just a short distance from the house where Gordon grew up. Over the years, they thoroughly enjoyed spending time at their second residence in Clear Lake, Iowa, particularly in connection with hosting their annual July 4th celebration. They treasured their children, Valerie and Dan, their son-in-law, Ben Schultz, their daughter-in-law, Kathy (Havighurst) Martens, and each of their precious grandchildren, Joshua, Caleb, Anna, Grace, Will, Andrew, Emmie Lou, and R.J.
Gordon and Jill's life together was a love story. We celebrate them, and we honor them. Two love-birds, who left this world together.