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Frank Henry Marten, “The Weed”, 90, died peacefully at home Tuesday, October 8th. He was born in Racine, July 25, 1929, son of the late Frank and Kathryn Marten.
On December 29, 1963, in Willow Lake, SD, he was united in marriage to the love of his life, Shirley Ann Dyer. Frank was a lifelong baseball fanatic. As a child, he would build intricate baseball parks out of toothpicks. Right from school he went into the minor leagues as a pitcher and then as an umpire in Triple A ball. He was called to the National League, but had already decided to head back to Racine as a young family man. Back in Racine, he umpired semi-pro, college and high school ball for another 42 years. His booming voice could be heard blocks from the ballpark, and he was quick to trade one-liners with the players as he worked the plate. He also served as an associate scout for several Major League Baseball teams. The culmination of his 50 year umpire career was his induction into the Old Time Ballplayers Association of Wisconsin Hall of Fame in 2017. Frank was also employed at the J.I. Case Co for 26 years prior to retirement. He was a member of Grace Church for more than 40 years, was steadfast in prayer and always looked forward to Sunday mornings. Frank was a great conversationalist and treasured time sharing stories with family and friends. He had a joke for every occasion and delighted in making everyone he met smile. He was a true family man and will be dearly missed.
Surviving are his loving wife of nearly 56 years, Shirley; cherished daughters, Lori Marten, Julie Turner, and Wendy Marten; and adored grandchildren, Kristin Ambrose, Megan (Kevin) Frame and Milly Turner. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved son-in-law, Brad Turner.
Funeral services will be held at Grace Church, 3626 State Rd 31, Saturday, October 26th, 11 a.m. with Pastor Sam Jackson officiating. A celebratory reception will follow in the church hall. Interment will be at West Lawn Memorial Park at 1:30 p.m. Relatives and friends may meet prior to the service 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Casual baseball or sports-themed attire are encouraged.
In lieu of flowers, catch a ballgame or do something special with a loved one. Frank’s motto was “God, Family, Baseball,” and he signed every letter with a hand-drawn baseball and the quote, “Swing if it’s close!” He thoroughly enjoyed his life, and it was a life well lived.