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Charlene Martin - October 18, 2012

Charlene Barbara (Critchlow) Martin met her Lord and Savior peacefully on Oct. 12, 2012. Charlene was the youngest of three daughters born to Cecil Edkerson and Edith Andelline (Carpenter) Critchlow on Sept. 21, 1924 in Holyoke, Colo.
Charlene and her two sisters, Doris and Marge, known as the “Critchlow Girls” were raised in their family home in Holyoke.
Charlene accepted the Lord at a young age and was baptized at the First Baptist Church and had been a member of the Baptist church her lifetime. Charlene remained grateful for Jesus, the Bible and her hope for heaven and demonstrated her belief throughout her life with acceptance of living “one day at a time and to keep looking up.”
Edith, her mother, passed unexpectedly during surgery at the young age of 42 leaving Cecil with 16, 18, 20 year old girls to raise. At that time Fred and Etta Peterson opened their home to Charlene until she graduated from Phillips County High School in 1942. Charlene learned early in her life to “count her blessings and name them one by one.”
Charlene met the “love of her life” Ben Martin while working at the Holyoke Creamery. They committed their love and devotion to one another through a three-year engagement while Ben fulfilled his Navy Seabee obligation in the South Pacific Islands. During that time Charlene lived with her sister, Margie and Lloyd Kehr in California and sister, Doris, in Witcha, Kan. in the early 1940’s.
Charlene and Ben were united in marriage on Feb. 25, 1945 and began their farming and ranching life together on a farm west of Lamar, Neb. and while raising their two children, Terryl and Pamela.
In 1969 Char and Ben purchased Rock Creek Ranch, west of Benkelman, Neb. which provided them the opportun­ity to fulfill their passion for ranching while also farming in Chase County with their son, Terry and family.
They sold the ranch in 1989 and moved to Canon City, Colo. to retire and to be closer to Pamela and her family. Shortly thereafter Ben was diagnosed with leukemia and met His Savior face to face in 1993. They were blessed with 48 years of marriage together and Char missed “her Ben” more everyday of every year of the next 19 years of her life.
Charlene returned to her family roots in Holyoke in 1998 and enjoyed sunny golfing days and riding her bicycle.
She was a devoted wife, homemaker, mother, grandmother and great grandmother and dedicated her life to serving her family.
Charlene was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ben; sister, Margie; and granddaughter, Heather Ann Martin.
Charlene’s loving family survivors include children: Terry Martin of Holyoke, Colo. and Pamela (Roger) Brixey of Wetmore, Colo.; grandchildren: Shadric Martin, Derek (Shelly) Brixey, Shyla (Dale) Swisher, and KC (Gina) Martin; great grandchildren: Amber Martin, Haley Martin, Kylie Brixey, Emily Brixey, Calie Swisher, Summer Martin, Tayla Martin and Teagan Martin with numerous beloved nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made in the name of Charlene Martin or donated to Sangre de Cristo Hospice (online to
A Celebration of Life was held at the First Baptist Church in Holyoke on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012 at 1 p.m. with nephew Pastor Doug Kehr officiating.
Interment followed at Greenlawn Cemetery, Lamar, Neb.
Gerk Funeral Homes was entrusted with the arrangements.
Online condolences can be left at