About Us
Funeral Homes
Order Laminates
Place Obituary
Send Guest Book Tribute
Share a Life Story
Photo Gallery
Printer Friendly Page

FRED MARTENS (published on April 14, 2007)

FRED MARTENS 1932 - 2007 To everybody who knew Fred: Our Dad passed away peacefully on April 10. A bad liver had been gradually slowing him down over the last couple years; however, things got worse and he spent his last few days in Seven Oaks Hospital. I'm lucky because I got to know him in so many different ways - teacher, colleague, coach, carpenter-for-hire (cheap rates!), fishing partner....even competitor. He had a lot of energy and touched a lot of people. Myself and a lot of my friends were in his physics class at Garden City Collegiate. The Silver Fox was all about thinking and - Egads! - solving problems. And lending the car to Suzy over lunch hour. His first teaching job was instructing apprentice soldiers at Shilo in 1955. He also taught at Charleswood Collegiate, St. John's Ravenscourt, and Edmund Partridge Junior High before coming to Garden City in 1963 and doing physics there until his retirement in 1992. But he didn't quit cold turkey....he substituted and took a couple of term positions. The last time he was inside a classroom was in 2002 - I was away for a few days and he took over my classes in Winkler. He was proud of that; it meant he had taught in six different decades. While he taught, Dad was a leader, serving as the Science Department head at Garden City for 17 years. He also did a couple terms as the president of the Seven Oaks Teachers' Association and one term as the negotiations chairperson. When he talked about teacher issues, his voice rose and his eyes flashed... Dad also believed in knowledge. He got his B. Sc. in 1954, his B. Ped. in 1955 and his B. Ed. in 1959 from the University of Manitoba. In 1969 he took a sabbatical and received a Master of Science Teaching from the University of North Dakota. He coached Garden City Collegiate's Reach for the Top teams for many years... Push the @#$# buzzer!!! I coached the Winkler team and actually met him as a rival at the provincial playdowns once. Sports were something else that Dad loved. He loved watching them and Teemu Selanne was his favourite hockey player. He curled with the Seven Oaks teachers until past his retirement. In the 1970s, he coached minor baseball and hockey; he wanted his players to go for it and have fun... You gotta RUN the bases...You gotta PLAY the body... In 1982, he started helping out with the Seven Oaks Raiders of the MMJHL and in 1991 he became the league's treasurer. He enjoyed those roles until his health wouldn't let him continue. In the outdoors, Dad was a bit of an adventurer. I remember frog-hunting and fossil-collecting expeditions with him when I was small. He led the Rivercrest Boy Scouts for several years. He would take us up the Caddy Lake canoe route and pay us a dime for every fish we caught. Over the course of quite a few summers, he and Dave MacDonell canoed much of the Whiteshell and almost the entire Grass River system. He loved fishing with Suzy and I - especially on fly-ins. He was always up for pushing the boat through some rapids - or portaging around them - just to get a look at the next set. His favourite place for fishing was likely the tundra along the Kazan River system in Nunavat. On one trip, we couldn't make it to a good-looking set of rapids by boat, so we hiked. It was a 6 kilometre return trip over the open tundra with no path to follow through polar bear country...and he was 70 years old. If you needed something built or fixed, Dad did it for you. His granddaughters learned at a very young age that if something was broken, you called Grandpa. Dad's ashes were interred yesterday at Glen Eden Memorial Gardens at a private family gathering. Thanks to Dr. Gerald Minuk for all his kindness during Dad's illness. In lieu of flowers, if friends and family so desire, donations may be made to the Liver Research Program, in care of HSC Foundation, 820 Sherbrook St., Rm. MS107, Winnipeg, MB R3A 1R9. Dad is survived by Marilyn, his wife of 50 years; son Dale; daughter Susan; and granddaughters, Kiana and Kerri. He was predeceased by his father Wilhelm; his mother Helene; and his sister Lily Karlowsky. (Good-bye, Dad. I love you and we did lots of stuff and I have no regrets.) Dale

Share Life Story
Send Tribute
Photo Gallery
Send Flowers
Funeral Homes
Order Laminate
View Stories
View Tributes