Gordon Martens and Nona Jill Martens Obituary – Death
Gordon Martens and Nona Jill Martens Obituary – Death : Authorities confirm that 81-year old Gordon Martens and 79-year old Nora Martens, both from Van Meter, Iowawere the victims of the accident that occurred at 1:49 p.m. on Tuesday (September 7), on Interstate 35 southbound near the 106-mile marker.
According to The Iowa State Patrol, the accident happened when a southbound 2007 Peterbilt semi driven by 32-year old Matthew Rewiltzer of Eagle Bend, Minnesota, failed to stop at a safe distance for a 2016 GMC Canyon driven by Gordon Martens, and a 2005 GMC Econoline Van that slowed down due to traffic congestion.
The semi also struck another semi, and two additional semis, and a van during the crash.
Life before Death
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. Gordon Louis Martens and Nona Jill (Hougham) Martens were what most people would refer to as the perfect partnership. They both built a lifelong friendship and partnership that was most admirable. They had the best and worst times of their lives together and they will be sorely missed by all they knew and met. They honoured each other, travelled together, laughed together, worshipped together and unfortunately died together in the crash.
Over the years, they thoroughly enjoyed spending time at their second residence in Clear Lake, Iowa, and they became well known for their annual July 4th celebration. They cherished their children, In-laws family, and friends and family.
They are survived by 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 and other amazing friends and loved ones.
Their relationship has been described a s a “Love Story”: “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.
Funeral arrangement / Visitation
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.
Tributes and Condolences
Friends, family and loved ones have taken out time to express their pain of the loss of these two wonderful souls. Here are some of the tributes left on Facebook:
“Yesterday, God called home two of the kindest, most generous, faithful, beloved people I have known in a tragic accident. Gordon and Jill Martens have been fixtures in my life ever since birth via family, my community, and my Booneville UMC Church family. Today, we all grieve with a huge empty space in our hearts.
The only word I can truly use to describe Jill is good. Everything about her was good. She radiated kindness and goodness. She acted as a mother to everyone around her–by sharing her love and positivity unfailingly, but also by consistently coordinating things behind the scenes to ensure every event or special occasion she touched turned out perfectly (without taking credit or praise, of course). She would grasp my hand on Sunday mornings and greet me with her warm, infectious smile. You couldn’t help but smile back. Jill was extraordinary faithful, and some of my fondest memories of her will always be her Sunday School class. All kids loved being in Jill’s class–so much the better when they got to also nibble on her frosted sugar cookies or ginger snaps. Jill never missed sending David, Reba, or I cards–birthday, anniversary, baptism, wedding…. you name it. She’d always send us our quarterly upper room with inspirational words and warm wishes–just last week, I opened ours to find a warm congratulations on our musical awards from the Iowa State Fair.
Gordon, too, exuded goodness. He was an incredibly hard worker and a strong leader. He could be serious and dedicated when needed, but he could also give me crap with the best of them. He was a faithful member of our church family, and an enormous hole will exist without him and his lovely bride. He was a proud American and a wonderful friend, neighbor, and father.
It still all seems so surreal that they’re gone. Please, if you’re the praying type, please pray for their families, their church family, and their community as they grieve this tremendous loss. If you’re not the praying type, send positive vibes… or consider doing something kind this week in their honor.
Rest easy, sweet and beloved friends. Until we meet again”.
“Help me pray for Gordon and Jill Martens family and friends. They were killed yesterday in a horrible car accident on I-35.
They were our neighbors and good friends while we lived in Boonville and then they moved less than a mile from us when we moved south of De Soto. They both were an inspiration and totally devoted to God in their lives. They will be missed”.
“Praying for my mother Mary Wettach & her family as they are grieving the tragic loss of our family members Gordon & Jill. 💔 They were the most thoughtful & caring couple; who never missed a family event or celebration, and always hosted a fabulous 4th of July family party at their Clear Lake home. I will always remember their amazing smiles and warm welcoming hugs.
🙏Praying for God to be with Gordon & Jill’s family in their sorrow, comfort them with your strength, and through the generosity of love shown by other’s and your presence within their hearts may they know they are not alone in their struggle through today & the upcoming weeks”.