homepage logo


Martha Gartzke, 91

Mar 15, 2015

Blue Earth Mrs. Martha E. Gartzke, age 91, of Blue Earth, died Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at United Hospital.

Memorial services were held on Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at St. Luke’s Chapel in Blue Earth, the Rev. Arne Bjelland officiated. Burial was in Riverside Cemetery, Blue Earth.

Martha Emily (Partee) was born on Oct. 30, 1923, to parents Rodolph and Ida Lee (Hoover) Partee, at Bell Buckle, Tenn. Martha attended school in Bell Buckle, also Webb School Bell Buckle, and graduated from Bell Buckle High School in 1941. She then graduated from Shelbyville Business College, as her ambition from childhood had always been to work in an office.

After working in the office of Empire Pencil Company in Shelbyville, she began working in Civil Service in Base Headquarters at Northern Field in Tullahoma, Tenn., she then transferred to DeRidder Army Air Base in Louisiana, and then to Stuttgart Army Air Base in Arkansas.

Martha and Howard Gartzke of Blue Earth, were married in DeRidder, La. on Sept. 5, 1944. They had met at Northern Field.

After Howard was discharged from the service in November 1945, they moved to Blue Earth and began farming southeast of town. To this union two sons were born Charles, and Bradley. In 1969, Martha’s niece 14 year old Monica Harrell of Tennessee, joined the family after the death of her parents. Howard passed away on August 20, 1975

Martha’s first employment in Minnesota was at the Blue Earth Airport as office manager and bookkeeper for Flight-Ways from 1947-1950. In 1957 she began her work in the office of Green Giant Company and was employed there until her retirement in 1988. In 1981 Martha moved into her home in Blue Earth and into the Southview Estates in 2004.

Martha enjoyed gardening, baking, needlework, spending time with family and friends, and she was an avid walker. She was an active member of Salem United Methodist Church since 1946 where she held many positions, and in United Methodist Women. She was a member of the Extension Club for over 50 years. She was a representative to St Luke’s Auxiliary, and volunteered at St. Lukes coffee and gift shop.

She enjoyed travel, and due to Charles living in Germany since 1972, she had the opportunity to travel in Europe many times. She enjoyed returning to her home in Tennessee for visits, going on bus tours and other trips.

Survivors include sons Charles (Barbara) Gartzke, of Oberkirch, Germany, and Bradley (Karla) Gartzke, of Blue Earth; grandson Johannes Samuel Gartzke, of Oberkirch, Germany; niece Monica Harrell, of Winona; sister-in-law Naomi Gartzke, of Milton, PA, nieces Sharon Pearce, of Milton, Pa., and Carole Yurewicz, of Jericho, Vt.

She was preceded in death by her husband Howard Gartzke, parents Rodolph and Ida Lee Partee, sister Marie Harrell, brothers-in-law Addis June Harrell, and Wayne Gartzke.

Web tributes may be left at “http://www.pattonfh.com”>www.pattonfh.com