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Clifford “Cliff” Marten Died 2017


Posted By: Connie Swearingen- Volunteer (email)
Date: 9/17/2017 at 15:00:18

Mapleton Press
24 August 2017

Clifford “Cliff” Marten, 92, passed away Friday, July 28, at his home surrounded by his family. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church with burial at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter at 2 p.m.

Cliff was born and raised in Mapleton, the son of John and Mina Marten. Shortly after celebrating his 18th birthday he was drafted into the Army Air Corps and eventually was assigned to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Intelligence battery. After serving in World War II, Cliff began his long career with Bell Telephone Co. He started as a lineman on a construction crew, was promoted to a switchman, then PBX installer repairman, then engineer and project engineer. This experience covered 40 years.

When the Korean conflict started Cliff enlisted into the Air Force Reserves at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska and his unit was activated two weeks later, and sent to March Air Force Base in California. During a leave, on June 23, 1951, he married the love of his life, Babette “Babs” Kempton. They returned to California for a year before moving to Council Bluffs where they became the parents of their daughter, Wendy Sue. In 1956, he was promoted to be an engineer in Des Moines where they have called home since. In 1965 they adopted their son, Jonathan.

Cliff decided to stay in the Air Force Reserves and joined the Iowa Air National Guard, working in headquarters and finishing as First Sergeant, with the rank of E-8. Cliff spent 26 years in the military. He had a great love of flying and received flight training and his private pilot’s license while a member of the base Aero Club. He also enjoyed woodworking, gardening, raising fruit trees, making peanut brittle, and coin collecting.

Cliff received many honors, awards, etc., but listed his most favorite as an Elder of Trinity Lutheran Church, Chairman of the Des Moines Rose Society, Charter member of the 132nd Silver Squadron, Air Force Commendation Medal for outstanding achievements, and Pilot’s Proficiency Award.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Babette; daughter, Wendy (Mark) Stavish; son, Jonathan; grandchildren, Matthew Stavish, Megan Frohm and Kaitlyn Muchmore; great-grandchildren, Zacary, Luke, Madeline, Harper, Wiley and Sawyer; and two brothers, Paul and Harold Marten.

Cliff was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and two sisters.

Visitation wias from 4-6 p.m. Monday, July 31, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Memorial contributions may be directed to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Wesley Acres Good Samaritan Fund, or American Legion Post #403.


Monona Obituaries maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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