Sarah Martens (final arrangements)

Sarah Mae (Van Dee) Martens, 83, of Shellsburg, Iowa passed away Sunday, December 25, 2022 at Henry County Health Center, Mt. Pleasant.  She was born December 1, 1939 in Iowa City to Augustine Joseph and Margaret Mary Holderness Van Dee.  After graduating from Williamsburg High School, she moved to Cedar Rapids where she spent most of her life.  She moved to Shellsburg, Iowa in 2009 where she spent the last years of her life.

On November 7, 1959, she married Vernon Charles Martens at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids; he preceded her in death.

Sarah held several jobs in her life time including Rockwell Collins, Wilson’s Packing House, Automatic Vending, and for the last ten years of her career, providing child care in her home.  She was a homemaker, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to many.

Survivors include four children; Sandy (John) Oberly of New London, Sheila (Mike) Gallagher of Burlington, Charlie (Lucy) Martens of Shellsburg, and Shirley Fraise of Palo, Iowa; her sister Florence (Robert) Moellers and brother Carl (Sandy) Van Dee; thirteen grandchildren; and fifteen great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; daughter Sarah Jane Hall; grandson Christopher Lee Benesh; and siblings, Mary Brown, John Van Dee, Ida Mahan, Grace Hotchkiss, Betty McGee, Andrew Van Dee, Edward Van Dee, Donald Van Dee, Michael Van Dee and Helen Mendenhall.

According to her wishes, her body has been cremated and there will be a private family graveside service at a later date.  Elliott Chapel, New London, is assisting the family and online condolences may be left at