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Walter Leonard Martin

Fri, Aug 2nd, 2013
Posted in Chatfield Obituaries

Walter Leonard Martin, 95, formerly of Wykoff, Minn. died July 26, 2013 in the Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield, Minn.

Walter was born on March 12, 1918, to Arthur and Agnes (Gorman) Martin on the home farm in Pilot Mound Township. Walter attended Country School in Pilot Mound, then attended Chatfield High School, graduating in 1936. After High School, Walter worked on several farms in the Fillmore County area. Through his work on the farms, he met Rebecca Walker. They were married December 6, 1941 at the Methodist parsonage in Brownsdale, Minn.

Walter was inducted into the Army on January 15, 1942, at Fort Snelling in Minneapolis. He completed basic training in Texas and North Carolina. On September 26, 1942, Private Martin of the 9th Infantry Division, 39th regiment-- Fox Company-- boarded the USS Thomas Stone bound for England. On the morning of November 7, 1942, the ship was torpedoed and Walter, along with the other infantry men, boarded life boats and sometime later were picked up by a British ship which took him to Africa.

With Fox Company, Walter traveled across Africa and Europe. Like many WWII vets, Walter never talked much about his time in the Army until the last few years. He has since shared many stories with family and friends. He had been in many close battles and felt a strong presence of the Lord, watching over him and guiding him to safety.

In December 1944, Walter was wounded in the shoulder and still carried a souvenir of shrapnel for which he received the Purple Heart medal. After discharge from the Army, Walter returned to Wykoff and started farming with Rebecca’s father, Hugh Walker, on the Walker farm.

Walter and Rebecca had two daughters, Patricia and Susan. Together they enjoyed traveling, square dancing, playing cards, watching the Twins or Vikings and hosting family in their home.

Walter served as a lay speaker in the Wykoff Methodist Church as well as serving on various committees for the church. As lay speaker he preached occasionally at area Methodist Churches. He served many years as clerk for the Fillmore Township, was an adjustor for Spring Valley Mutual Insurance, was a member of the American Legion, has belonged to the Eastern Star and was a Mason. In 2010, he felt so blessed to be apart of a Southeast MN Honor Flight.

He is survived by his daughters- Patricia (George) Toschak of Little Falls, Minn. and Susan (Douglas) Leinhart of Fort Collins, Colo.; four grandchildren; and one great-grandson. Walter was preceded in death by his wife Rebecca on September 23, 2011, his parents Arthur and Agnes, his brothers; Clarence, Morris, Chester and Curtis, and his sisters; Ethel (Mevlin Asleson) , Loretta, Mildred (Baldwin Narveson) and Hazel; and two siblings who died in infancy.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at the Wykoff United Methodist Church.

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