On April 8, 2022 Josephine Martens left this life to join our Heavenly Father. Josephine was a devoted mother, wife, sister, aunt, godmother and grandmother. She was born Josephine (Josie) Mallek on February 16, 1931 in Junction City, Wisconsin. Josie had seven siblings, grew up during the Great Depression and worked along with her family on their dairy farm. She and her sister Martha were especially close as they began performing together as the Mallek Sisters. After winning an award at a fair they had a weekly Saturday morning radio show in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin singing country music. Josie moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and worked at Donut Time where she learned to make an amazing BLT. She also worked at Allen-Bradley, a manufacturing company.
She met her one true love, Don Martens, and they married on April 14, 1951. That was the beginning of a love story that lasted 66 years. She and the family moved from Brookfield, Wisconsin to Brentwood, Tennessee in 1966 where she would spend most of her life. First and foremost, she was a devoted mother and wife. She was a very talented seamstress and could look at a picture of a dress and make it without a pattern. Some of the garments she made are still proudly worn by her children some 30 years later. She loved to sing and play the guitar. Josie was known for her sense of humor and her sharp wit. She enjoyed gardening and was a voracious reader. Josie volunteered with the Ladies of Charity for years and was a devoted Catholic.
During her time with Don and her family, they traveled throughout the U.S. in the family camper. After Don retired, they traveled all over North America venturing as far south as Mexico and as far north as Alaska. Josie (known to them as “Nana”) loved her grandchildren, took care of them, and entertained them with puppets and stories. She and her granddaughter had a very special relationship since they shared the same birthday. They had fun deciding each year what they would do for their birthday. Josie loved to travel, meet new people, was a fan of polka music and community picnics. Josie died after suffering multiple strokes and an extended battle with dementia. She will forever be remembered as someone with the patience of a saint and the ability to love unconditionally.
Survived by her four children: Renee Martens Wall (Richard), John Martens (Michele), Don Martens (Andra), and Joseph Martens (Jessica), grandchildren: Nathan Wall, Dylan Wall and Anna-Kate Martens, and her sister Rosemarie Kawlewski. Her funeral mass will be at Holy Family Catholic Church on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Visitation from 9-10 AM; Mass at 10AM. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations are made in her name to the Alzheimer’s Association.