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In Loving Memory

Eugene Frank Martens, 85, of Hooker, Oklahoma, passed away on August 12, 2010, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Enid, Oklahoma.

Eugene Frank Martens was born in his childhood home close to Adams, Oklahoma to Jacob and Marie Martens on June 13, 1925. He went to school in Adams. He married Eldena Winters on July 25, 1942 at the Adams Mennonite Brethren Church in Adams, Oklahoma.

As a member of Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation,” Eugene (Gene) survived the dust bowl in the Great Depression of the 1930s then left his parents’ farm, west of Adams, in 1943, to serve two years with the U.S. Army in the Philippines during World War II. During his service, he was promoted to “buck” sergeant.

After the war, Gene returned to live on and work a small farm north of Adams.  To provide for his young family, Gene milked cows and delivered milk to Adams before 7 a.m. He then drove twenty miles to Liberal, Kansas, where he worked on an assembly line for Beech Aircraft. After his shift, he worked his farmland. Gene later added to his schedule, driving a propane truck for Schaapveld Gas Co. of Hooker.  In 1956, Gene moved his family to Hooker when he began working for the Kansas/Nebraska Pipeline Co. His vigilance and knowledge of the oil and gas industry led to his position as Corporation Commissioner for the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Department from 1961 to 1986, when he retired after 25 years of service. After retirement, he continued farming for many years.

Gene was a member of the Lions Club, the Hooker American Legion (proudly participating in the honor guard), and the United Methodist Church in Hooker, where he ushered for many years.

Gene had a passion for farming, flying and playing golf at his summer home in Angel Fire, New Mexico.

Eugene is survived by his wife, Eldena, now residing in Enid, Oklahoma; two sons – Verle Martens of Hooker, Oklahoma and Stan Martens of Tulsa, Oklahoma; five grandchildren – Todd Martens of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Wiley and Matt Martens of Hooker, Oklahoma, Tana Quinlan of Katy, Texas and Melana Martens of Phoenix, Arizona; and eight great-grandchildren – Morgan, Madison, Frankie, Kleat, Gunner, Montana, Brooke, and Hayden; his five remaining siblings: 2 older sisters – Evelyn Friesen and Edna Wiens, both residing in Liberal Springs Retirement Center in Liberal, Kansas; one younger sister – Velma Fast, of Guymon, Oklahoma; and two younger brothers – Herbert Martens, of Las Vegas, Nevada and Johnny Martens, of Washington D.C.; and younger sister Joan Wichert, who preceded him in death

o Visitation will be Sunday, August 15, 2010, at Roberts Brothers Funeral Home, Inc. in Hooker, Oklahoma.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on August 16, 2010, at the United Methodist Church in Hooker. Interment will follow at the Hooker Cemetery. Arrangements are by Roberts Brothers Funeral Home, Inc. of Hooker, Oklahoma.

Condolences may be left at www.robertsbrothersfuneralhome.com.

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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