Jean Martens

Jean Martens
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E. Jean Martens, nee Duensing, 85, of Belleville, IL, born November 19, 1929, in Champion, Alberta, Canada, died Sunday, August 30, 2015, at Lebanon Care Center, Lebanon, IL.

Mrs. Martens’ working career included five years as a telephone operator for Okaw Commercial Telephone Company, 15 years as the manager of Zion Lutheran School cafeteria, and 12 years as the co-owner of Raetz Bakery in Belleville.  She was a former active member of Zion Lutheran Church, Belleville, IL, where she served as a Sunday school teacher for 20 years.  Jean was also a former Brownie and Girl Scout leader.

A charter member of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Belleville, she was a Sunday school teacher and a member of St. Mark’s Altar Guild and St. Mark Bible Class on Tuesdays.  She was a past president of the Women of ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America).  Jean served as a volunteer for Meals-on-Wheels.  She enjoyed cake decorating, sewing, canning, and baking.  She especially enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Wilbert H. Martens, whom she married on November 19, 1949, and who died on September 15, 2002; and her parents, Fred A. and Freda, nee Oetting, Duensing.

Surviving are two sons and a daughter, Gregory A. (Ann) Martens,
Bruce (Diane) Martens,
and Kathleen A. Evans, all of Belleville, IL;
five grandchildren, Jason Martens (Cheryl Weber) of Freeburg, IL,
Douglas Martens of Belleville, IL,
Robin Lee (Robert) Buck of Swansea, IL,
Cari Lynn (Nick) Rensing of Belleville, IL,
and Jamie Renee Martens-Perry (Brandon Perry) of Belleville, IL;
six great-grandchildren, Allison and Cody Buck, Olivia Rensing,
Tyler and Kylie Martens, and Piper Perry;
two sisters, Marilyn Ann Billings of St. Peters, MO,
and Margy L. (Charles) Groennert of Town & Country, MO;
a brother-in-law, Allen A. (Mary Jane) Martens of Belleville, IL;
a sister-in-law, Ruth Ann Trauth of St. Louis, MO;
and nieces and nephews.

Jean’s family would like to extend special thanks to the staff at Lebanon Care Center and at Hospice of Southern Illinois.

Memorials may be made to St. Mark Lutheran Church, to the Alzheimer’s Association, or to Hospice of Southern Illinois.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 1, 2015, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 2, 2015, at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 105 East D St., Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 2, at St. Mark Lutheran Church with Rev. Brian Robison officiating.  Burial will follow at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, IL.

Condolences Left For Jean Martens

So sorry for your tremendous loss!! You will all be in my prayers and may you find peace during this time of overwhelming sadness.

Amanda Kilzer, Belleville, IL Illinois, 62226

Dear Greg & Ann,
We are out-of-town and saw in the on-line addition of the News-Democrat that your mother has passed. We are so sorry to hear this. Please accept our deepest sympathy in this time of sorrow. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family.
Sincerely, Jerry and Carol Maxim

Jerry & Carol Maxim, Swansea, Illinois, 62226

Bruce, Kathy & Greg and families,

My deepest sympathies at the passing of your mother. Outside of my own family, visiting your home frequently, very frequently, while growing up was the warmest place on earth I ever felt. With best friend Bruce, friend and classmate Kathy, and classmate of my brother’s Greg, Jean and Wilbert were like an aunt and uncle to me. Warmth and love, and plenty of good food and laughs and smiles were always abundant at your house, particularly from your mom. Life’s paths have resulted in us getting together too infrequently now, but that does not change the memories or my feelings for your family. Praise be to God for the grace he bestowed on Jean and Wilbert, and we look forward to our reunion with them when at last we too reach our eternal home.

Craig Veile, Lawrenceburg, Indiana, 47025

Dear Greg, Bruce, Kathy and families: I just received my Okawville Times yesterday and was surprised to learn of your dear mothers passing although I knew she was disabled by altzheimer’s which is so sad. Please accept our sincere sympathy and know that your dear mother is now in a much happier place and free from the illness that left her disabled.
God grant you his love and peace in the days ahead. Howard and Jane(Muelken) Weihe

Mrs. Howard (Jane Muelken) Weihe, Hoyleton, Illinois, 62803


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