Charles D. Martinson
1935 – 2022
Charles D. Martinson passed into eternal life on June 7, 2022. After receiving the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick the evening before, he passed peacefully while in his sleep.
Charles was born on April 9, 1935, in Devils Lake, North Dakota. Born of Oliver and Sophia Martinson, Charles was the third of four children. He had three sisters (Maybelle Jenkins, Opal Loomis and Sandy Gromis). For the first six years of his life, Charles lived on the farm. His family then moved to Long Beach, California where Charles attended the public schools and graduated from Jordan high school in 1953. While at Jordan, Charles played baseball and football, was vice president of Boys League, was in Capella choir, was vice president of Key club, was in two school plays (where he had solos). Charles somehow had time to be in a band, the Tijuana 20-17… Art, Bart and Fargo (yes, Charles was Fargo).
After high school, Charles went to Long Beach City College and played baseball. He also joined the Coast Guard reserves. It was during this time the Charles started dating Elaine Marron, the love of his life. Charles wooed her by the age old, tried, and true method of stepping on her bunion toe. Elaine was smitten and Charles and Elaine married on June 25, 1955, at St. Pancratius Catholic Church in Long Beach. Charles had a job as a ditch digger, then with American Linen Supply, where he worked for over 35 years. There he was a general manager in Los Angeles, Billings Montana and San Diego, CA. Elaine told me a story where Charles’s boss planted a $20 bill to see if Charles was honest enough to turn the money in. Although Charles and Elaine we’re living paycheck to paycheck, and an extra $20 would have been greatly appreciated, Charles passed the test. He was promoted in the company.
Charles was a man of tremendous faith. He had no other choice, as he and Elaine dealt with the many trials that go with raising five active children (four by age 26). With their faith, nothing was more important to Charles and Elaine than their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They poured everything they had into them. There are numerous examples that could be told. For instance, one Saturday, Charles had to take Mitch to the hospital due to a football concussion. While leaving the hospital, they passed Elaine who was bringing in Ken due to a broken arm.
All of us feel so blessed to have had this man as our father (grandfather, great grandfather) who was constantly teaching by example. He had many strong virtues as he was committed, caring, a problem solver, not a quitter (except for alcohol and smoking). One amazing virtue he showed especially during the last years of his life was patience. He was tested to the limit during the suffering of Elaine (dementia). The great care and compassion Charles showed her, her caregivers and all of us during this time was very evident. We are flooded with so many memories of the ways this great man has affected our lives. Even though burdened with ailments, on the day before Charles passed, during a phone conversation, one of the last things he said was, “how is everyone doing?” I trust he is looking out for us now with the same deep concern he had while physically with us.
Charles is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Elaine, his sister Maybelle (and Jenks), his grandson Mark, his granddaughter Jaimie. He is survived by his children Mike (Kim), Mitch (Karen), Ken (Kim), Lori Dressel (Bob), Joe (Tammy); grandchildren Michaela (Danny) Neiter, Danielle McMillan (Casey), Christian, Michael, Erin, Sean and Kaylie Martinson, Kelly, Jacob and Brianne Dressel, Wayde and Taylor Martinson; great grandchildren, Beau and Cole McMillan, Amaya and Brody Martinson.
A funeral Mass and celebration of life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at St. Mark Catholic Church, 2727 W. Tangerine Road, Oro Valley,