Gustaf P. “Gus” Martens, age 79, of 10654 S. 75th Rd. Rapid River, died Saturday morning, January 24th, 2004 in Rapid River following a lengthy illness surrounded by members of his family.
Gus was born November 1st, 1924 in Grosse Pointe, MI, the son of Alex and Celina (Wachtelarr) Martens and was raised in Detroit until moving with his family to Mount Clemens. He later entered the military service with the U.S. Navy from 1943 until 1946. While in the Navy, Gus served in the Asia Pacific Theater, including the liberation of the Philippines, and the European African Middle Eastern Theater where he received a number of citations, awards and ribbons. After his honorable discharge as Seaman 1st Class, Gus relocated to the Rapid River area where his parents moved while Gus was in the service to establish the “Sall-Mar Motel and Cabins”. He married the former Marion Verschaeve on October 29th, 1947 at the St. Charles Borromeo Church in Rapid River and together they owned and operated the “Sall-Mar” for many years until their retirement in 1996.
Gus was a member of St. Charles Church of Rapid River and a member of the Rapid River American Legion Walter W. Cole Post# 301 for 51 years, and a former member of the Rapid River Volunteer Fire Department for a number of years. Gus was known to enjoy socializing and visiting with people and he always enjoyed his work. In addition, he loved to go to his camp on Round Lake and he had a special affection for his black lab dogs he had as pets during the years.
In addition to his devoted wife, Marion, Gus Martens leaves to survive:1 Son – David Martens of Rapid River; 4 Daughters: Kathy (Jerry) Peloza of Crystal Falls, MI, Karen Martens of Minneapolis, MN, Pat Falcon of San Antonio, TX, Janet Martens of Rapid River, 4 Grandchildren: Audrey (Mike) Onesti, Alison (Jeff) Grainger, Masae Falcon, Megan Falcon; 2 Great-grandchildren: Samantha and Tyler Onesti; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother: Gaston; and a sister: Madeline (Bill) Sally.
The family of Gustaf P. “Gus” Martens will receive friends on Tuesday, January 27th at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with Military Rites being conducted at 6:45 p.m. at the Skradski Funeral Home by the Rapid River American Legion. Mass of Christian Burial will follow on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Rapid River with Rev. Fr. Jacek Wtyklo officiating. Luncheon will follow services at the church fellowship hall. Burial will be at the Rapid River Cemetery.