Martens, Katie - Mar 11, 2019 at Faith Christian Church

Katie Martens (nee Unrau), of Winkler, MB passed away peacefully in the early hours of the morning, March 7, 2019 at Salem Home at the age of 92 years old. Katie was predeceased by her husband, Peter, daughter, Karen, sisters, Anne and Helen, brothers, Abe, Jake, John and Pete, mother, Katharina and father, Abram Unrau.

Katie was born into the Unrau family of Morden growing up with 4 sisters and 6 brothers. It was through the friendship of her brothers that Katie met her husband Peter Martens and they were married for 56 years.

Katie is survived by her sisters, Mary, Nettie and Sadie and her baby brother, Frank, children, Alvira Loewen (Peter), Garry Martens (Wendy), Judith Chûbachi (Yoshi), Sandra Bensch (Robbie), Roxanne Suderman (John), 17 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Katie prayed for each of them diligently by name every morning. She had enough love for all of them and welcomed each addition with anticipation, remembering all their names!

Katie gave her life to Jesus after her first year of marriage to Peter when they attended a tent meeting. Her faith never faltered and she volunteered many years at the Winkler MB church from teaching Sunday School to countless hours in the Mary Martha Fellowship hospitality department. She led by example that to love Jesus was to serve him. What a legacy! She faithfully listened to Back to the Bible, and this was her Bible school.

Katie’s siblings were very special to her especially her sisters. The girls slept 3 to a single bed so there was no choice but to get along. A favourite tradition was that on each person/spouse’s birthday there was an open invitation for a party. The house was cleaned top to bottom, table set and food prepared. With a family of 11 children that meant 22 parties a year leaving just enough room to squeeze in Christmas and Easter.

Food was a huge part of life in the Mennonite culture and everything was home grown which meant caring for a big garden, canning, freezing and the weekly baking of buns and sweets. These were two of Katie’s loves, gardening and baking! She shared just a few weeks before she passed how after their mother had passed, the sisters were making vareniki. They did not realize that you needed to put flour between the pockets before you stacked them and how they had all stuck together. She laughed heartily with her sisters but their father was not impressed when they ended up with one huge vereniki (perogy) in the pot!

Katie also loved music and played guitar and piano by ear. She especially loved gospel music and the Gaithers were a favourite weekly TV show not to be missed. She knit countless sets of hats, mittens and scarves, sewed, mended holes when the knees were put through jeans and embroidered many sets of tea towels! She will be sorely missed. Her positive attitude helped her to live to 92 despite many physical constraints. She tried to read through the Bible every year and her love for Jesus shone through. She always added a scripture verse to each birthday card sent out along with the words of wisdom ‘Now spend it Wisely!’

Her favorite verse (and she had many!) was Isaiah 53:6, All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one to his own way. And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.