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Gary William Martens

Posted: 03/6/2019 10:53 AM

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June 5, 1956-Feb. 28, 2019

Gary William Martens, age 62, of Steinbach, MB, passed away peacefully at the Bethesda Hospital surrounded by family.

Gary was born to David and Martha Martens in Tisdale, SK, the fourth of six children. His first years were in Tisdale and Rosthern, SK, moving to Burns Lake, BC at the age of eight. He had an adventurous childhood surrounded by a loving family and many friends. Gary dedicated his life to following Jesus at summer Bible camp and was baptized in 1975.

Gary and Carol (Dyck) were married in Burns Lake in 1978. In 1983, Jeremy was born, followed by twins, Karissa and Kristina, in 1985. They celebrated 40 years of marriage this past Aug. 26. Gary adored his family, becoming their protector, nurturer, encourager and confidante. The in-laws, Tamara, Elroy and Aaron, were welcomed and treated as part of the family. His three grandsons, Wesley John, William Zeke and Max Gary, were his crowning glory, as they gave their first hugs to "Hampa" or "Waka".

Gary spent many years studying: CBI, UBC, CMBC and AMBS were his educational institutes. He loved studying the Bible, finding new insights every time he read a passage. He also encouraged education for his spouse and children.

Pastoral ministry was his passion and vocation for almost 35 years. Churches included Sterling Mennonite Fellowship (Winnipeg), Mount Royal Mennonite (Saskatoon), Steinbach Mennonite, and North Kildonan Mennonite. At each of these churches he gained new skills and became rich in relationships. His focus as a pastor was to make sermons relevant and interesting, stick to the church’s vision, and, most importantly, to love the church.

Gary took a year off pastoral work to build a house. This new challenge brought him joy as well as many new relationships. He was known for his fastidious work. "Perfect is acceptable" was his motto.

During his off-time, Gary enjoyed working on cars, building, landscaping, or helping his kids with projects.

Always the optimist, Gary took the news of his cancer prognosis on June 14, 2016 bravely. He said his miracle was that he had peace when he found out it was incurable. Although he was devastated to leave his pastoral position, he continued to relate to his friends in the congregation in more informal roles, such as organizing car shows and chairing committees. Cancer treatments also gave him the opportunity to spend more quality time with Carol, his children and grandchildren, and to talk about what death and legacy meant to him.

Beginning Christmas 2018, Gary’s cancer began to create complications and pain. After final visits with his immediate and extended family, Gary peacefully passed away surrounded by his wife and children.

He is survived by his loving wife, Carol Martens; his mother, Martha Martens; his children, Jeremy (Tamara) Sawatzky-Martens and grandchildren Wesley and Max, Karissa Martens (Aaron Denysiuk) and grandchild William, and Kristina (Elroy) Peters; five siblings, his father-in-law George Dyck, three siblings-in-law, and their families.

He was predeceased by his father, David Martens, and his mother-in-law, Dorothy Dyck.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, Mar. 8, 2019 at Steinbach Mennonite Church, 345 Loewen Blvd in Steinbach, at 10:30 a.m. Viewing will be held on Thursday, Mar. 7 at North Kildonan Mennonite Church, 1131 Roch St in Winnipeg, from 6:30-8 p.m., with a devotional at 7 p.m.

Interment of cremains at a later date.

If friends so desire, donations may be made to the Bethesda Foundation.

Arrangements by
Friends Funeral Service
Inc, Winnipeg

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