Martin "Don" Mortensen, 91, of Rising City, died Friday,
October 8, 2010 at Columbus Community Hospital.
The funeral service will be at 11:00 am Wednesday, October
13 at First Lutheran Church in Rising City. Visitation will be from 5 - 7 pm
Tuesday at the church and one hour before services on Wednesday, also at the
church. Burial will be in Circle Mound Cemetery in Rising City.
Martin D. Mortensen was born on March 7, 1919 in Omaha to
Martin and Carrie (Olsen) Mortensen. His father had come from Denmark and
was serving in the US Army in France and upon his return and discharge, he
settled with his family in the Howard County area, farming around Cushing,
NE. Following the untimely death of his father, at age 40, his mother moved
the family to St. Paul, NE; but Don decided to leave and travel the country,
covering many miles and states.
In 1939 he answered Uncle Sam's call of "I Want You" and
entered at Ft. Crook. His three years enlistment was extended to over six
years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It was on that day that he met his
future wife as he went to visit his sister at the nurses quarters and was
introduced to her roommate, Estella Nordmeyer. He served in England, France
and Germany in the 82nd Airborne Paratroopers and after war's end, he
returned to St. Paul, NE and traveled to Denver where he married
on January 5, 1946 at the Camp Fitzsimmons Hospital
Don farmed for 15 years in Butler County and worked 20
years at Behlen Mfg in Columbus, retiring in 1982. Following a heart attack
in early 1983 and quadruple bypass, he continued to lead an active life. He
enjoyed telling of his travels and military experiences, being especially
proud of being the first class of paratroopers at Ft. Benning, GA in 1940.
He was active in his church, the Masonic Lodge, Sesostris Shrine Clowns and
the Cornhusker Chapter of the 82nd airborne, with headquarters in Lincoln.
Don enjoyed working outdoors, playing cards, painting and
parading. Recent months he has been slowed by heart and physical ailments.
Surviving is his wife: Estella, Sons: Larry (Mary) of
Beaumont, CA; Ted of Arlington, VA: Steve (Janice) of Wake Forest, NC; Six
grandchildren: Leslie (Jeremy) Hinkle of St. George, KS; Aaron of Chester,
CT, Teri of Raleigh, NC; Gary and Laura of Arlington, VA; Tyler (Yolanda) of
Garden Grove, CA, and two great-grandchildren: Cameron and Erica. Two
sisters: Ellen Paulson of Grand Island, NE; and Florence (Eugene) Cline of
Omaha; sister-in-law: Virginia Hunt of Beaver City, NE; nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, an infant daughter; one sister
Dorothy and one brother Howard.
(courtesy of Wendy Redman Hudson)
Martin entered the service on 12 May 1939 at Fort Crook, NE.
According to his obituary, at left, he was a member of the first paratrooper
class in 1940.
T5 Mortensen was transferred to the
508th PIR on 16 Oct 1942 as a member of the Cadre team supplied by the
507th. He was a member of the Service Company and remained with the
508th until at least April 1945 when he was awarded a Good Conduct Medal.