Valeria A. (Kennedy) MartinSeptember 27, 1928 ~ November 30, 2017 (age 89)
Val Martin died on November 30, 2017 at Holy Cross Village, Notre Dame, Indiana. She was born Valeria Ann Kennedy in 1928 in Winona, Minnesota. She was the first of four children born to John Francis and Ethel (Hughes) Kennedy. Val and her siblings (Catherine Roeder, Geraldine Lunzer, and John Kennedy) grew up in Rochester. Her high school yearbook picture is appropriately captioned “Three-fifths of her is talent, and two-fifths is sheer fun.” After high school Val trained and became a nurse at Saint Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. While at St. Mary’s she met her husband-to-be, Harold R. Martin, who was then a resident psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic.
Hal and Val married in 1952 and moved to Connecticut and then Nebraska. Their first child, Glenn, was born in 1954, followed by Holly, Joseph, and Martha. In 1960 Hal returned to the Mayo Clinic, and Hal and Val moved back to Rochester, where Val's extended family had remained.
Val was a prodigious reader, especially of literature, history, archaeology, and mysteries set abroad. Their mutual interest in history and archeology soon prompted Hal and Val to travel to Mexico and Guatemala. Within a few years, their travels included taking the children with them. After several years in Rochester, they moved to the country where they started a small family farm. During the day, Val ran the farm while Hal practiced medicine; however, the responsibilities of the farm did not end their travels. They traveled to Mexico, Egypt, Ireland, England, Russia, and much of Europe together as well as many spots within the U.S. with their children.
In addition to raising her children, running the farm with Hal, caring for H.G. and Nell Martin (Hal’s parents who lived on the farm with them), reading, attending the theatre, and traveling, Val gardened. She created gardens of all kinds and complemented her gardening by learning ikebana. She also developed an interest in her families' genealogy and traveled, studied, and made friends in the U.S. and Ireland while researching it. Val and Hal were never for a moment bored. They were best friends and companions in work and adventure.
When Hal died in 1992, Val moved back into Rochester. She volunteered as a guardian ad litem and was a bailiff in the courts. Her traveling continued with numerous trips to Europe as well as Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Mongolia, Morocco, most countries in South America, and the Antarctic. Beginning in 2001, she traveled yearly to the American Southwest. Her traveling did not come to an end when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2009. After the diagnosis she continued traveling to the Southwest, as well as to Alaska to see the Arctic Ocean and to Pipestone National Monument. Her final major trips were to Moab, Utah, and to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico.
In 2012 Val moved to South Bend, Indiana, where she could live in assisted living and be within minutes of family. Her final trips were to Rochester, Minnesota, to visit her family members there, her Aunt Kate's farmhouse near Stewartville, and Hal's grave at St. Bridget's in Simpson.
Val lived a full and adventurous life. She is survived by her four children, twelve grandchildren, one great grandchild, and two of her siblings, Gerry and John. She was a remarkable daughter, sister, nurse, wife, mother, friend, farmer, grandmother,and adventurer.
Her sense of fun and brave pursuit of new experiences, along with her intelligence, good sense, and loving care of others, has had a lasting impact. She is very much missed.
Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday December 5, 2017 at Our Lady of Holy Cross Chapel at Holy Cross Village, Notre Dame. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. in the Chapel. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Thursday, December 7th in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home, Rochester, MN. Burial will follow in St. Bridget's Cemetery, Rochester, MN.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research at www.ALZinfo.org>home.
To send online condolences, please visit www.kaniewski.com.