Neil Roger Martenson

Neil Roger Martenson, 68, passed Monday, July 19, 2010 at St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud, Minnesota after a brave battle with cancer.

He leaves his devoted wife of 41 years, Arleen (Koep) Martenson; daughter Christine Martenson-Wiorek and husband Richard Wiorek; daughter Jenny (Martenson) Lane and fiancée Jason Perona; siblings: Marlys Stagman, Darlene (Leonard) Freeberg, Bob (Cheryll) Martenson, Jimmy Martenson, Dennis (Barb) Martenson; numerous in-laws; many nieces and nephews; and countless friends.

Born and raised in Sisseton, South Dakota, the son of Arthur and Ragna (Hanson) Martenson, Neil was a 35-year resident of Rockford, Minnesota.

In his early years, Neil served in the US Army Artillery March 12, 1964-March 13, 1966. He was so talented in math and organizational skills that when he applied to be transferred from company clerk to a gunner in the unit his commanding officer refused because he could not bear to lose such a talented individual. He held that position throughout his military service and was the most popular guy since he was in charge of the weekend passes.

After an honorable discharge from the military, Neil moved to the Twin Cities. There he was introduced to a young woman named Arleen Margaret Koep. The two quickly fell in love and were married September 14, 1968. The couple relocated from Minneapolis to Rockford, Minnesota in 1974 where they would raise their two children. Based out of their Rockford home, Neil was the owner and operator of Martenson Construction for the last 25 years. He not only took pride in his work, but truly cherished the many friends he made during his time in business. Over the years, Neil had gained a reputation for being the best in his industry and a trusted contractor. He had also donated much time and professional expertise for friends, family and the City of Rockford.

An avid fisherman and hunter, Neil relished yearly pheasant hunts and frequent family fishing trips. He enjoyed mentoring his nephews on the finer points of both pursuits. When relaxing he would enjoy a good book or watch the Gophers, Twins or Vikings on TV. He also had a passion for his collections including: custom knives, bald eagle art, vintage water pumps and scale-model farm equipment memorabilia.

Neil was preceded in death by: Parents Arthur & Ragna Martenson, Jeanette Skjonsberg (sister), Randene Brandreit (sister), Galen Martenson (brother), Harold Stagman (brother-in-law), Mr. & Mrs. Marvin Koep (in-laws), and Wendelin Koep (father-in-law)

Mass of Christian Burial was held on Friday, July 23, 2010 at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Loretto, Minnesota. Rev. John Gallas officiated with interment in the Elmwood Cemetery in Rockford, Minnesota. Military honors were provided by the Delano American Legion Post #377.

Arrangements by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano, Minnesota.