Rockford “Rocky” Perry Martin, the fifth child of Perry E. and Pearl (Roberson) Martin, was born on January 26, 1927, in Maries County, near Hayden, Missouri. He attended country school before coming to Iowa and working for James and Darlene Felton on their farm near Neola. It was from them that he learned to farm. Rocky was drafted into the U.S. Army, and served as a combat engineer.
On January 22, 1953, Rocky married Kathryn Ann Petersen in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1956, the couple moved to their farm west of Shelby, Iowa, where they lived until 1984. Rocky and Kathryn then moved to their new home, located just down the road.
Rocky was a member of the Shelby United Methodist Church in Shelby. He loved the land and was a strong supporter of soil conservation. Rocky continued to help on the farm even into his retirement, and also spent time gardening. He enjoyed music and watching Guy Lombardo and Lawrence Welk on TV on Saturday evenings. Rocky and Kathryn liked to travel, especially to the western United States and Canada.
Rocky P. Martin died on Friday, June 26, 2009, at Myrtue Memorial Hospital in Harlan, Iowa, having reached the age of 82 years and 5 months.
Rocky was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Elmer Martin and Adrian Martin; one sister, Martha Dambach; and one infant daughter, Betty JoAnn Martin. He is survived by his wife, Kathryn Martin of Shelby, Iowa; one son, Wayne (Susan) Martin of Shelby, Iowa; one daughter, Karen Martin of Neola, Iowa; two sisters, Winifred Terry of Vienna, Missouri, and Isola Jordan of Jefferson City, Missouri; one brother, Donley (Virginia) Martin of Dixon, Missouri; four grandchildren, Doug Martin, Perry Martin, Katie (Aaron) Pattee, and Amanda Guill; two great-grandchildren, Ali Pattee and Brandon Guill; and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on Monday, June 29, 2009, at the Shelby United Methodist Church in Shelby, Iowa, with Pastor Dick Krambeck and Pastor Carolyn Hollar officiating. Shirley Pattee served as the organist. Honorary casket bearers were Jerry Mez, Charles Leaders, Bill Barrett, Bob Stuhr, Frank Evans, and James “Bud” Felton. Active casket bearers were Bill Darrington, Bill Iwen, David Bladt, Larry Bladt, Rich Stuhr, and Larry Ploen. Burial was in the Shelby Cemetery in Shelby, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Shelby was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at www.burmeisterjohannsen.com.