Larry Gene Martens of Earlsboro, Okla., passed away Feb. 1, 2021, at St. John's Trauma Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., as the result of a motorcycle accident two months earlier.
Larry Gene Martens was born March 22, 1955, at Huron to Marvin and Rose (Currier) Martens of Bancroft, joining sibling, Janice. He attended grade school in Bancroft until the school closed, then went to De Smet where he graduated in 1973. He attended a school in the Black Hills for welding, then he worked on the family farm for several years.
He worked with the combine crew of T.A. Base for a couple of years, driving the trucks to haul the combines from Kansas to North Dakota, as a mechanic and all-around handyman.
He married Karen Ann Miller of Willow Lake, and they lived in Bancroft, then moved to the family farm. Their son Kristopher Dale was born during this time.
Larry moved to Oklahoma where he attended a vocational school, majoring in CAD-CAM, (computer assisted drafting and computer assisted machining). Before he was through with the one-year course, he was asked to come to interview at Woodward, Okla., where he redesigned a huge, thick sheet of metal so they were able to get 13 more pieces from the one sheet. Meanwhile, the vocational school asked him to come back and teach that class, but he returned to Woodward to work in the aforementioned business.
He worked for a plant that made parts for the helicopters that soldiers used. He discovered the parts were inferior, went to the boss, said he couldn't in good conscience do that kind of work...and was fired. He worked for a 'large scale company,' repairing the scales for the roadside weigh stations. He repaired and remodeled nursing homes, did mechanics at home in his “off hours,” worked with an organization as an advocate for the safety of abused children and drove a van to take handicapped people to their Dr.'s appointments.
He is survived by his son, Kris (Amy) of Austin, Texas; grandchild, Alexandra Martens; his mother, Rose Grothe of De Smet S.D.; three sisters, Janice White of Brookings, Sharon Pieper of Valley Springs and Dorothy Wentzel of Sioux Falls; one brother, Dale (Peggy) Martens, Aberdeen; very special friends, Charley and DeeAnn Orso of Paden, Okla.; nieces, nephews and a vast number of friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, grandparents, aunts and uncles.