- January 24, 2023
Ralph Martens, husband, father and friend, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, from complications following surgery.
Private services will be held for the family. Burial will be in Scotch Grove Cemetery. Please visit Goettschonline.com to share your thoughts, memories, stories, and condolences with Ralph’s family.
Ralph was born on Dec. 14, 1943, in Monticello, lowa. He was born to Frieda (Blohm) and Norman Martens. He married Ann Alyea on July 3, 1963, in Tipton, Iowa. She died in 1994. On March 19, 2007, he married Peg Gutta in Las Vegas, Nev.
In his younger years, Ralph enjoyed fishing, camping, and canoeing with his late wife, Ann, and their boys. As he grew older, he exchanged his fishing pole for mornings in the garden, canning goods for family and friends, or an afternoon of gambling at the casino with his current wife, Peg.
Ralph was proud to remind everyone that he was a student of the first graduating class at Midland Community High School. Following graduation, he began working for Howard Andrews as a hired hand.
Ralph went on to spend the rest of his working years at Star Manufacturing, where he served as a supervisor for 30 of his 42 years at the company. To this day, we still hear stories from his employees reminiscing on days passed and the positive work environment he created.
His family is not the only love he leaves behind. Ralph spent many years as a collector. Over the years you would find him at local auctions or garage sales searching for the next treasure. If you had the pleasure of running into him while on the hunt you would notice he wasn’t a man of many words, instead he just enjoyed your presence and a hot cup of coffee.
If you were a family member or friend, you had the pleasure of seeing a side of Ralph that many didn’t get to see. During Euchre games or the occasional (forced) game of Cards Against Humanity, he would sit satisfied with a lip full of chew. His favorite line was “different here” confirming with his sly smile that he was about to set his opponents which we have never understood. Additionally, he would share his love through building, fixing, and working on hundreds of projects over the years. Ralph was an incredibly intelligent man with a mountain of personality, and those he shared that with were truly blessed.
Ralph is survived by his beloved wife, Peg; his stepson, John (Claire) Gutta; two sons, Eric (Deanna) and Jeff (Nikki) Martens; four grandchildren, Gabriella (Sam Ludwig), Alex, Layne and Britan Martens; and lifelong friends, Mike and Judy Mead, and Bob and Deb Gray. Ralph also leaves behind brother and sister in-laws, Denny, Connie, Cindy and Carl, Georgia, John, Denise and Eli, and Alan and Stacy.
In addition to his first wife, Ralph was preceded in death by his brother Ron, and his parents Frieda and Norman.
Special thank-you to Ralph’s sister-in-law Connie who spent the last month providing comfort and care to Ralph and his family.