Donovan "Donnie" Martin
Donovan "Donnie" Martin, 87, of Nevis, died on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008 at the Emmanuel Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes. He was born on Aug. 15, 1921 to James William and Emma Marie (Hensel) Martin in Mantrap Township, north of Nevis. He grew up in ...
Donovan "Donnie" Martin, 87, of Nevis, died on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008 at the Emmanuel Nursing Home in Detroit Lakes.
He was born on Aug. 15, 1921 to James William and Emma Marie (Hensel) Martin in Mantrap Township, north of Nevis. He grew up in Mantrap Township and attended country school there. In the early 1930s he moved with his family to Iowa where they lived for a short time.
After returning to Minnesota he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. and worked on projects in northern Minnesota camps. He enlisted into the U.S. Army in August 1941. He served in the infantry with the 744th Light Tank Battalion. He was stationed in England and Ireland while they prepared for the D-Day Invasion. He was part of the first wave trying to reach shore at Omaha Beach during the D-Day Invasion at Normandy, when his landing craft was hit and he was wounded. The next day he was evacuated by ship to England. After recuperating he was reassigned to participate in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944. He was wounded again, after which he received his second Purple Heart. He was discharged after the war in November of 1945. In 1999, during a special ceremony in Park Rapids, he was awarded the Bronze Star from the U.S. Army for his service.
He married Jean M. Sells on Sept. 14, 1946 in Park Rapids. They lived in the Park Rapids and Nevis area where he farmed with his dad and did carpentry work. In 1951 they purchased a farm south of Nevis, where they raised their five sons and lived since. He farmed for many years, raising livestock and planting crops. During the late 1950s he worked in Bloomington, installing sewer systems as a private contractor. In 1963 he worked as a custodian at the Ah-Gwah-Ching State Nursing Home in Walker. He retired as a maintenance supervisor in 1983.
He was a founding and a lifetime member of the Akeley VFW, where he was a past commander. He also served on their Military Funeral Honors Team. He was a lifetime member of the former Nevis Legion and now the Otto Hendrickson American Post 212 of Park Rapids. He was a founding member and longtime active member of the local All Veterans Ceremonial Burial Team. He was a firearm safety instructor for over 30 years.
He is survived by his wife, Jean, of Nevis; five sons: Bryan, of Moundsview, Danny (Pam), of Nevis, Norris "Nick" (Linda), of Lino Lakes, Robert, of Payson, Ariz., and Alton, of Gilbert, Ariz.; brother James (Shirley), of Florida; 14 grandchildren; more than 20 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Honorary casket bearers: Past and present members of the All Veterans Ceremonial Burial Team.
Visitation: One hour prior to the memorial service Saturday, Dec. 20 at Bethany Lutheran Church.
Memorial service: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Nevis with Rev. A.J. Kluver as officiant. Ardis Johnson will be the pianist and Christie Semmler will sing "On Eagles Wings" and "Shall We Gather at the River." Congregational hymn will be "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The All Veterans Ceremonial Burial Team will provide Military Honors. The Marine Corps. League will provide a military gun salute and Ray Vaadeland will play taps.
Inurnment: Resthaven Cemetery in Nevis in the spring.