Friday, October 2, 2015


Town of Rib Lake resident, R. Werner Martin, 88, passed away on October 1st in Medford, WI.
Werner was born in a small southeastern Wisconsin farming town called Saint Anthony. He grew up during the depression and later when of age, joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944. His original enlistment was for future Air Combat Crew training “Radio Communications” aboard B17 and B29 bomber aircraft at Truax Field, Madison. At that specific time, the war effort was winding down and military brass were shuffling personnel where they were needed most so Werner was transferred first to being a Supply Sergeant in North Carolina and then towards the end of his service to the Military Police (MP) until his discharge.
When Werner arrived back home he became an accountant for a local automobile/farm dealership and later at a well-known lumber yard. After the war, home building was booming and he thought it was an appropriate income source but continued his schooling for future advancement. Werner graduated from the Milwaukee Business Institute and also met and married his wife Ruth Schaefer who resided in Slinger, WI.
The U.S. economy really started to expand at that time so Werner decided to start an innovative plastics molding company in West Bend, WI, manufacturing point-of-sale displays. Some of his clients over the years included: Rayovac Batteries, Mercury Marine and Weathershield. Later he received a government military contract to co-manufacture the famed M14 rifle stock out of composite materials.
Once semi-retired, Werner built and co-managed with his wife of sixty seven years, Ruth, a nostalgic Early American Gift Shop that they renovated from a 100 year old farm. Upon full retirement Werner and Ruth moved to Spirit Lake in 1998.
He is survived by his wife Ruth, sons Jeff (Gina), Tom (Chong), Steve, daughter Bonnie, 3 Grandchildren, 3 Great Grandchildren, and a sister, LaVerne. A private service was held in Rib Lake at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, with full military honors performed by the American Legion Post 274 at Saint Ann’s Cemetery. Hemer Funeral Service of Medford assisted the family with arrangements.