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Ilene Grace Martens

(née Larter)

September 6, 1936 - May 18, 2018

It is with sad hearts that we announce the passing of Ilene Martens at the age of 81. After a short battle with cancer, Mom passed away peacefully surrounded by family in the afternoon of Friday, May 18, 2018 at the Riverview Health Centre in Winnipeg MB.


Mom will be remembered always with great love. She leaves behind her husband of 62 years, George; children George (Elaine McMillin), Cindee De Groot (Jeff), Denyse Horner (Phil), Linda Martens, Michael (Sherry Schoor); grandchildren Michael, Nycole, Alexander, Taylor, Samantha, Tyler, Maxx and Conner; her great-granddaughter; Savannah; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.


Mom was predeceased by her siblings Emily Illsley of The Pas, MB, Elva Spiller of High Point, North Carolina, USA, Helen Nemez (Paul) of Minitonas, MB, Elgin Larter (Lorraine) of Ashern, MB and Winnifred Paull (Ron) of Winnipeg, MB as well as her parents, Garnet and Winnifred (nee Doan) Larter of Swan River, MB.


Mom was born September 6, 1936 in Swan River, MB. In her early years she worked at McKay’s General Store until, at the tender age of 19, married the love of her life George Martens on April 18, 1956 (and she loved that they shared their wedding day with Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco).

They very soon after moved to Edmonton AB, where Dad got work in construction. Their first son was born there, George Jr. Not long after that they moved back to Swan River and the family really took off! Mom worked off and on at Cox’s Dry Goods and Cox’s Groceries in between having babies. Cynthia (Cindee) Denyse, Linda and Michael were all born in Swan River while Dad drove long haul truck. Once Michael was born Mom had her hands full and stayed home while Dad was on the road.

Dad came off the road when we moved to Thompson in 1974 to become a heavy-duty mechanic. Then in 1989 moved to Winnipeg to be closer to family.


It takes a special woman to raise five very active kids and do as good a job as she did being alone as much as she was. I know there were days that were more difficult than others, but we always knew Mom wouldn’t trade us for anything. Mom loved her family above everything else. We always knew we were the centre of her universe.


There were many people that became special family members to Mom and were given a place of honor. She loved and cared for them deeply. Mom was always interested about what was important to people.


Mom enjoyed family dinners, camping/visiting cottages, picnics and road trips to visit family. She loved to sew and dressed her girls in fashion as they grew…sorry boys.  Mom was also an avid gardener. She grew the most beautiful roses. Her garden was a place that brought great joy to her heart and she loved showing it to people and sharing from it.

But the thing she loved the most was garage sale-ing! She loved to collect old glass in the form of vases, dishes, decorative pieces and anything that would strike her fancy! She was always excited when she would find something beautiful and at a price she could not resist!!

She has left behind many treasures that were near and dear to her heart for us to have and remind us of her passion for beautiful things.


The family would like to acknowledge the tireless care and dedication Mom received from the staff at the Riverview Palliative Care Unit, East Wing 3rd Floor, 1 Morley Ave. Winnipeg, MB R3L 2P4.

Mom was so grateful for all the people that were there to make her last days full of laughter, love and dignity.

This is our special request in lieu of flowers because our “thank you” just didn’t seem like enough.

Please send a card on Mom’s behalf to them to thank, honor and encourage them for the incredible work they do and the way it is done…with such love and dedication.

Let them know their efforts go beyond the passing of their charges to the hearts of the family long after our loved ones are gone, knowing our loved ones were very well looked after even when we couldn’t be there.

With each passing day I remember the names and faces of the people that loved and cared for Mom, the joy they brought to her and the dignity with which she was bestowed. May God richly bless each and every one of them.

If you desire to give a monetary gift, Mom gave to many charities so please give to your favorite on her behalf.


Cremation has already taken place. There will be a service July 28, 2018 in Winnipeg, MB at a place yet to be determined.

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