Karen A. Martens, 78, of Chilton died Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 at Brillion Westhaven in Brillion.
She was born April 8, 1941 in Appleton, daughter of the late Gilbert and Marjorie (Gendron) Cooper.
Karen was afforded the honor to stand up in her sister’s wedding where she met the love of her life, Roger “Skip” Martens, who was a groomsman. They began dating, and after his discharge from the military they continued their courtship until they were wed on May 20, 1961 at Ebenezer United Church of Christ in Chilton.
Karen worked as an instructional aid, first through fourth grade, for 31 years for the Chilton School District. In an effort to be everything she could be to each and every one of the children she assisted daily, Karen understood the wisdom of the phrase, “Early to bed, early to rise.” During these years, her passion for the education of children was also seen as she volunteered as a Sunday school teacher at Ebenezer United Church of Christ where she was afforded the opportunity to share God’s saving grace to the youngest of the parish members.
Retirement, at first, was a bit of a challenge for Karen because the children she worked with were now absent. Fortunately, she became a grandmother, and her devotion was allowed to be focused upon those who meant the world to her. Although Karen didn’t follow professional sports, she was the biggest fan of her grandchildren and the many sports and extra-curricular activities in which they each participated.
Karen was a voracious reader who loved the thrill of a good mystery or the writings of a romance novel. She and Skip enjoyed time spent with friends playing sheepshead, having belonged to several card clubs throughout the years. Time spent “Up North” was always something to look forward to because she could annually see advancements of culture in the Northwoods and watch as her grandson cast lines into the waters at the end of her pier while she enjoyed the latest novel she was reading.
Survivors include her husband, Roger “Skip” Martens; her children, Michael Martens and Pamela (Michael) Klaeser; her grandchildren, Carly Jo and Hunter Martens, Benjamin, Elizabeth and Samantha Hertel; a brother, Donald (Marion) Cooper; and a sister, Janet Kuehn.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother-in-law, Jerry Kuehn.
Funeral services will be held at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Wieting Family Funeral Home, 411 W. Main St. in Chilton with the Rev. Dr. Marc Axelrod officiating. Burial will be in the Hillside Cemetery in Chilton. Friends may call at Wieting Family Funeral Home from 10 to 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5. A memorial fund has been established in the name of Karen A. Martens.
Online condolences may be left at wietingfuneralhome.com.