Cover photo for Mary  Lou Martinsen's Obituary
Mary  Lou Martinsen Profile Photo
1928 Mary 2022

Mary Lou Martinsen

January 25, 1928 — December 20, 2022


Mary Lou Martinsen, the daughter of Harry and Sophia (Luschen) Richards was born January 25, 1928, in Newcastle, NE. Her childhood years were spent in Newcastle where she attended school and graduated from high school in 1945.

On May 7, 1949, she was united in marriage to Max Martinsen in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Following their marriage they farmed in Newcastle, NE, before moving to Alta, IA in 1961 to farm and eventually Aurelia, IA in 1966 to farm. They retired and moved to Cherokee, IA in 1989.

Mary Lou was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee. She was also active with the I.C. Ladies Guild and the VFW Auxiliary. She enjoyed gardening, casinos, and hot air ballooning. She also enjoyed traveling, especially her trip to Ireland in 1990. Most of all she loved spending time with family and friends, and time spent at family reunions.

On December 20, 2022, Mary Lou passed away at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center at the age of 94. She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Max Martinsen on October 3, 2017; sons, Kenny and Don Martinsen; sons-in-law, Lloyd Buddenhagen and Terry Cutler; parents, Harry and Sophie Richards; in-laws, Gabe and Bertha Martinsen; sisters, Francis (Rudolph) Hoesing and Alice (Harvey) Wenther; and brothers, Vincent Richards and Tom Richards.

She will lovingly be remembered by her three daughters, Renee Buddenhagen of Aurelia, IA, Barb LeValley of Garland, TX, and Connie Cutler of Pflugerville, TX; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Eric (Carrie) Buddenhagen and their children, Jamie and Tucker of Aurelia, IA, Jessica Gillespie and daughter Diana of Heron Lake, MN, and Alicia (Justin) Thompson and their children, Blake, Jayce, and Taylynn of Cherokee, IA; sister-in-law, Monica Richards of Ponca, NE; and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.


Cards may be sent to:

Renee Buddenhagen

P.O. Box 645

Aurelia, IA 51005


To view livestream: 

Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, December 27, 2022, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee, Iowa.
Father Dan Rupp
Public visitation will begin at 4:00 p.m. Monday, with family present from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Monday night at the Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee. A prayer service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Monday, following visitation.
Mt. Calvary Cemetery
Cherokee, Iowa
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Lou Martinsen, please visit our flower store.


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