March 30, 1949 – April 30, 2019
Larry Martens, age 70, of Fremont passed away on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at Lakeside Hospital in Omaha. He died peacefully, surrounded by family members, music, and Morse code.
Larry Doran Martens was born March 30, 1949, in Fremont to Raymond and Dorthey (Derr) Martens. He was confirmed at First Lutheran Church and graduated from Fremont Senior High School in 1967. In 1968 he married Sharon Ray Martens (Gannon) at First Congregational Church in Grand Island. Larry attended United Electronics Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, and worked for Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before he moved back to Fremont and began working for Valmont Industries in 1970. He worked there for 46 years as an Electronic Tech in the Structures Maintenance Department. He also worked for several years as an engineer for the local radio station KHUB.
Larry was a well-known as an enthusiastic amateur (“ham”) radio operator whose call sign, K0SW, was frequently heard on the local ham networks. He was an active member of the Pioneer Amateur Radio Club and enjoyed participating in club activities such as Field Day, attending local conventions, and helping fellow hams. Through his radio expertise, he served his community in emergency preparedness training and communications support during natural disasters such as our recent flood. Larry was also a trained storm spotter. He and Sharon served as volunteer National Weather Service observers for over 30 years and were members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 200.
In addition to his love of amateur radio, Larry’s other great passion was music. He played guitar in several bands throughout the decades, including the Comets, British Invasion, Yesterday and Today, and Fever and the Funkhouse. Playing for family and friends at local venues was one of the great joys of his life. Fans will remember his bass solos in songs like “Brown Eyed Girl,” his cool rendition of “Hey, Bartender,” and his sincere appreciation for the people who came out to his shows to dance, sing along, and enjoy live music together.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Dorthey Martens; his sister, Sherry Garfield; and his brother, Ranny Martens.