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Nancy Martens - Class Of 1956

Nancy Johnson Martens, age 74, died on October 8, 2013 at Pomerado Hospital after a long, courageous struggle with cancer. She was born to Arthur and Emily Johnson on January 26, 1939 in Kenosha, WI.  

Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1961 with a degree in Speech Therapy, Nancy married her college boyfriend, Ted Martens. Immediately after marriage, they started a series of moves from coast to coast while following her husband's career with Procter and Gamble. They had a son, Ryan, in 1965. They retired to Point Loma in San Diego in 1995.

Nancy had a short tenure as a speech therapist in Southern Maryland, practicing in a segregated school system with three black and three white schools. She then devoted herself to being a stay-at-home mom and wife while engaging in other pursuits that interested her. Among them were teaching swimming to both children and adults who were afraid of the water, and coaching a youth swim team. Her main avocation was helping customers find just the right book, especially children's books, in several independent book stores. She was an avid knitter, reader, sea glass collector, and trivia expert. She tried out, but fell short, to be a contestant on the Jeopardy TV show. She loved to travel the world learning about different cultures, visiting dozens of countries and all seven continents. She was a member of the University of Wisconsin Alumni Club of San Diego and Bernardo Heights Country Club.

Nancy was an outgoing, spontaneous, caring, and fun person. Most of all, she was a devoted and loving wife, mother, and friend. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Ted; a son, Ryan (Wynn) Martens, and grandson, Gus Martens, of Boulder, CO; and a brother, Mark (Marcy) Johnson, of Rockford, IL. She was predeceased by her parents. Her remains were cremated and her ashes have been scattered at sea in a private memorial service.


Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on October 11, 2013