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Audrey L. Martinson - Mesabi Daily News: Obituaries

Audrey L. Martinson

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Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:00 am

SERVICES: Service will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Virginia. Visitation will be one hour prior. Pastor Bob Simonsen will officiate. Arrangements are by the Range Funeral Home of Virginia.


Audrey Lucille Martinson, 80, of Virginia passed away peacefully surrounded by family after a short illness Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at the Virginia Convalescent Center.

She was born on Feb. 24, 1929, in Virginia, the youngest of eight children, to Hjalmer and Betsy “Bessie” (Hovat) Gunderson who had come from Buxton, N.D.

Audrey married the love of her life, Melvin Martinson on Oct. 8, 1945 in Virginia, starting a life of caring and sharing, devoting their lives to their children, grandsons and now (after three generations) beautiful great-granddaughters.

While raising their sons, Audrey and Mel followed their sports, Audrey the devoted hockey mom, basketball, baseball and football fan. At the time she got sick last week, she was still enjoying her Twins games with her friend and roommate Marguerite.

Audrey was a caring babysitter at Silver Lake Homes and also worked at her brother Norm’s Sweet Shop on Fifth Avenue. In the ’70s she enjoyed the kids at James Madison School while working for the “hot lunch program.” Saddened by the food being thrown out each day she would sneak “seconds” to many. She still was sneaking candy to the residents at the VCC. Introduced to nursing homes with her mother being a resident, Audrey had volunteered at the Arrowhead Nursing Home. Her generosity was extraordinary.

Although Audrey never possessed a driver’s license, she was known to be a good driver when necessary. Audrey and Mel loved family picnics and the frequent card games with sister Dodo and Rodney in earlier years. Now games of Aggravation with her grade school friend Lois were just as aggravating and fun. A genuine people person, Audrey’s humor and concern for others were always present.

In 1983 Audrey and Mel moved to Tempe, Ariz., to be near their sons and their families and be active in their grandsons’ academics and sports. In 2003, they moved back to their “summer home” in Ridgewood.

The family is eternally grateful for the excellent care given to both Audrey and Mel by the Virginia Convalescent Center staff, with a special hug to Sherry. The family cherishes the care and friendship poured out to Audrey by Patty and Robin Olivanti and Lois Thompson. The laughter in healthy and sad times is so memorable.

Audrey’s survivors include two sons, Barry (Vickie) Martinson of Ramsey, Minn., and Brian (Lannie) Martinson of Lake Vermilion; daughter-in-law, Betz (Blaine) Martinson, of Phoenix, Ariz.; grandsons, Jeffrey (Candice) Martinson and daughters, Hannah Grace and Evelyn Rose of Mesa, Ariz., Scott (Kimberly) Martinson and daughter, Kyrstin Melody of Norman, Okla., Brad Martinson of Chicago, Ill., Ross (Jennifer) Martinson of San Diego, Calif.; sister, Dorothy “Dodo” Foss, and Dodo’s daughter, LuAnn (Byron) Rowell; sisters-in-law, Helen (Norm) Gunderson, Lyla Mihelich and DeLores Johnson; brother-in-law, Edwin (Loretta) Martinson; and dozens of nieces and nephews.

Audrey was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin, on Jan. 22, 2006; her son, Blaine, on March 13, 2002; brothers, Oscar (Gloria), Clarence “Al” (Sis) and Norman Gunderson; and sisters, Frances “Frannie” (Oz) Salmi, Olga (Bud) Elkington and Betty Gunderson.

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