CHATHAM, Mich. - George J. Martz, age 91, of Gladstone Street, Chatham, died Wednesday, September 26, 2012, following a lengthy illness at his home surrounded by his family and under the care of Lake Superior Hospice and North Woods Home Care. He was born on April 12, 1921, in Onaway, Michigan, the son of Clarence and Hazel (Bessemer) Martz.
He was raised the fifth of 12 children, in Hasting, Michigan. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an air craft mechanic from December 1940 thru 1961. He served aboard several air craft carriers including the USS Hornet and the WASP during numerous air raid strikes during WW II, including the Doolittle Raid and the devastating air raid that ultimately sank the USS Hornet. His memories of being rescued from the ocean is what kindled his lifelong pride in service for his country. After retiring from the Navy as Chief Petty Officer, he worked for the Lockheed Satellite Program as a quality control systems inspector, and ultimately retired as a self-employed carpenter building and remodeling homes in the Hastings area. In 2008 as his health was failing he moved to Chatham to be near his daughter and grandchildren and was an inspiration for his family who feel blessed and honored to have had this time to share in his memories and final days.
George is survived by his wife, Joyce (Reaser) Martz; daughter, Nancy Martz-Sorenson; stepchildren, Terry Hunt, Bruce (Susie) Hunt and Tammy (Peter) Hook; sisters, Clarabelle Cline and Hazel (Weldon) Meek; sister-in-law, Ila Martz; brothers, Donald Martz and Clarence (Lois) Martz; grand-children, Jeanette (Donald) Stebelton, Annette Brumm, Jason (Rachel) Hunt, Phillip Hunt, Paige Hook, Hunter Hook; great-grandchildren, Michelle Demogola, Jennifer (Steve) Heyrman, Tanya (Ashley) Cooley, Samantha Stebelton, Hannah Stebelton, Paige Hook, Hunter Hook; great-great-grandchildren, Ava Hunt, Alyssa Wishman, Jayden Long-Meyer, Gavin Kidd, Layla Cooley, Elexis Long-Meyer; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by parents, Clarence and Hazel; wife, Patricia (Fernand) Martz; brothers, Leon, Lloyd and William Martz; sisters, Nellie Balmer, Ruth Gillispie, Alice Fender, Reathea Hazel; sisters-in-law, Ruth Martz, Nita Martz, Nancy Martz; grandchildren, Gary Brumm and Randy Brumm.
Funeral Services for George will be held at Lauer Family Funeral Homes-Wren Chapel located at 1401 N. Broadway in Hastings on September 30, 2012, at 1 p.m. with visitation an hour prior with Pastor Andy Trowbridge officiating. Interment will take place at Hastings Township Cemetery. Military honors offered by enlisted personal and American Legion Post 45. In lieu, of flowers please make donations to the American Legion Post 45 in Hastings in support of new uniforms for the honor guard. Please share a memory with George's family at www.lauerfh.com.