Obituary: Marten Duke

Marten Duke

Duane “Duke” August Marten, 83, of Barnes and formerly of Tomah, died peacefully at his home, Sunday, March 21, 2021.

He was born to Orlin and Lillian (Peth) Marten on May 28, 1937, on the family farm in the Town of Tomah. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church. While growing up he attended the Sunny Ridge Country School, and was a member of the Tomah Senior High School graduating class of 1955. After high school he joined the U.S. Air Force. Duke met the love of his life Sharron Ellsworth and on Aug. 17, 1963, and they were united in marriage at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Ridgeville, by Pastor Berg. Together they made a beautiful life. She preceded him in death on July 14, 2019. They enjoyed traveling in their later years, and took trips across America and overseas to visit family in England. He moved back to Tomah and went to work for H.A. Sime and Associates before moving to Barnes and becoming the owner and operator of VacationLand Surveyor.

Duke was a past member St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church and a charter member of the Peace Lutheran Church in Hayward. He served as the treasurer of the Barnes Lion’s Club for over 30 years and was active in the pancake breakfast feeds and the softball tournament. He was a proud Lion. He had a second family in the Harry and Joanne Meyer family. He was one of the directors of the Tomah Gang, sharing his duties with the other three directors, Pat, Dick and Sterling. He loved living in Barnes, he enjoyed feeding the deer, squirrels, bears and grandma’s cats. He would always ask, “When are you coming up Nort by Grilleys?” and will be remembered for saying “One for the Oya.” Duke was a loving and proud grandpa, he loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren very much. He enjoyed baby snicks treats and Honeybuns for breakfast. Duke had a friend in every place he went. He loved people and people loved him.

He is survived by his children, Jennifer Marten and Julie (Chris) Keene, both of Tomah, Jeffrey (Jean) Marten of Wilton and Jill (finance Tom) Marten of Lanesboro, Minnesota; grandchildren, Jessica (Steven) Blankenship, Aaron (Ayaka) Eckelberg, Brittany (Colby) Allen, Katlyn (Jeff) King, Joshua (special friend Alexa) Marten, Justin Marten, Kenneth Buxengard, and Miranda Buxengard; great-grandchildren, Eden, Aspen and Haven Blankenship and Penelope Allen; brothers and sisters, Luann (Clyde) Shepherd of Detroit, Ron “Bud” (Judy) Marten of Beaver Dam, Lana (Patrick) Adler of Tomah, Lorene (Dave) Castleton of Hertfordshire, England, and John (Nancy) Marten of Milwaukee; sister-in-law, Linda Marten of Tomah and brother-in-law, Ronald “Joe” (Carol) Ellsworth of Chippewa Falls; and many other loving relatives and friends.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, Orlin and Lillian Marten; his in-laws, Homer and Marj Ellsworth; two brothers, Dean Marten and Marlin Marten; and two infant siblings, Elaine and Gerald.

A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 27, at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, 21693 County Highway A, Tomah, with Pastor Bob Gerke officiating. Visitation was held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 26, at Sonnenburg Family Funeral Home, 801 E. Monowau St., Tomah, and Saturday from 10 a.m. until time of services at the church. Burial with military honors by the Grassman-Sowle-Larsen-Senz American Legion Post 201 was at the Oak Grove Cemetery.

Online condolences may be shared at A celebration of Duke’s life will be held in Barnes at a later date.

To plant a tree in memory of Duane Marten as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

Load comments