Mass of Christian Burial for Irene Maertens, 88, of Marshall, was held Saturday, November 23, 2019, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Marshall.
Interment will follow the service at Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Rehkamp Horvath Funeral Home of Marshall handled the arrangements.
Lyon County’s New Year’s Baby, Irene was born in rural Cottonwood on January 1, 1931, to August and Irma (Kons) Mercie. Irene grew up on a farm near Cottonwood and later her family moved to Marshall. Irene was married to Richard LeBeau in 1952; he passed away shortly after their marriage. On August 30, 1958, Irene married her husband of 55 years, Dick Maertens. They lived 35 years in Tracy, where they raised seven children. Dick and Irene enjoyed traveling with each other, with friends and with family. If you knew Irene, she was five foot two in stature but “size doesn’t mean everything;” her strong Belgian heritage, quick wit, and humble personality stood on its own. She was highly admired by her family and had a unique relationship with each of them. When the kids came to visit, Gramma was always ready with a sucker, candy bar, or a can of pop!
Irene was fortunate to remain in her home following Dick’s death in 2013. During these years, she built a close relationship with her passionate in-home caretaker, Susan “Susie” Blair of Garvin.
Irene died on Monday, November 18, 2019, surrounded by family at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD.
Irene is survived by her children Steven (Mary) Maertens of Marshall, Teresa (Bradley) Mitteness of Ghent, Debra (Richard) Deutz of Ghent, John “Jack” (Lisa) Maertens of Chaska, and Sandra (Michael) O’Rourke of New Prague, and son-in-law Brian Kelly of Madison Lake, 25 grandchildren, two step grandchildren, and 35 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husbands Richard LeBeau and Richard “Dick” Maertens, parents August and Irma (Kons) Mercie, twin children Paul Maertens and Pamela (Maertens) Kelly, grandsons Jason Maertens and Martin Hill, great-grandson Luke Deutz, and siblings Joseph, Maurice (Agnes), Madeline (John) Kroger, Jerome (Celda), Gerard (Charlotte), and George (Frances).
Memorials preferred to the Gillette Children’s Hospital (www.gillettechildrens.org) or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (www.stjude.org).