Mildred Jean Goertzen Martens-Unruh, 87, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, March 20, 2020. She was born on May 25, 1932 near Ulysses, Kansas to Abe and Annie (Goertzen) Goertzen.
After graduation from Inman Rural High School in 1950, Mildred attended Tabor and McPherson Colleges and earned a teaching certificate. She taught school in Copeland and Inman, Kansas.
She married Melvin Roy Martens August 9, 1952 and the following year moved to Denver, Colorado where they completed Alternative Service at General Rose Memorial Hospital. From Denver they moved to Newton, then settled in Hesston where they were great partners raising their three sons, Kim, Kent and Keith.
Mildred chose to be a full-time mother and considered it to be her greatest privilege and vocation. She loved spending time with young people, serving 10 years as an on-call liaison for the Hesston school district and 12 years as an assistant in the high school library. Her life was enriched by compiling genealogies, creative writing, and flower gardening. But her favorite hobby was spending time with her seven grandchildren. She cherished every activity and conversation she shared with them, and prayed for them daily. Also important to her was her faith. At age 12, she accepted Jesus as her personal Savior and was baptized. She was involved in church throughout her life and a long-time active member of Faith Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas.
Mildred’s husband Mel passed away unexpectedly in 1994. In 2002, she married a longtime family friend, Roy Unruh. They enjoyed splitting time between Iowa and Kansas, and settled in Hesston in 2013.
Mildred leaves her beloved families: her husband, Roy Unruh; sons Kim (Glenda) of Derby, KS, Kent (Des) of N. Newton, KS, and Keith (Sandi) of Hesston, KS; and grandchildren Parker Robinson, John (Roxanne) Martens, Alex (Kate) Martens, McKenzie Martens, Grant Martens, Kate Martens, Connor Martens, and great-grandson John Martens.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Mel Martens, brothers Edward and Vernon Goertzen, and nieces and nephews.
Mildred also leaves behind her Unruh family: Roy’s three daughters and one son and their families. Sherilyn Hines (Kansas City), Nikki and Art Slowinsky, Isabella, Markus, Jarden and Mia; Natalie Unruh-Carey, Adrianna, Nathaniel, Elizabeth Unruh-Carey, Aundrea, Donovan; Varrell Unruh-Carey; Joni Fornelli (Lawrence, KS), Dar and Anna, Tor; Marcia and Greg Shueller (Ft. Akinson, WI), Brianna, Kailyn, Melia; Brian Unruh (Cedar Falls, IA), Griffin and Truman.
A celebration of Mildred’s life is planned for later this summer.
Memorial donations may be made to Mennonite Disaster Service, Faith Mennonite Church or Schowalter Villa in care of Petersen Funeral Home
My thoughts and prayers to you and your family . . .May the precious memories bring you comfort through this time of grief.
Roy and family, My heart is sad for losing your wife and a very dear friend of mine. I hope they can have get together’s in Heaven. There are more , there, from our couples group ,then are left. God give you strength for what lies ahead. Blessings to each family member.
We cherish many memories with Mel and Mildred and later Roy. May you feel Gods blessings as you remember your Mother and Wife!
What a beautiful sweet spirit Mildred had. She was always a blessing to me with her sweet caring smile. Ron and I send our sympathy to your entire family.
Roy, you came into my mind last night and I looked you up this morning. First to read about the book you both write and then to read about your wife’s recent passing. I am truly sorry for your loss. Stay well. We are all fine here. Again, my sincerest condolences.