Please accept my heartfelt sympathy at the loss of John. He was a very special man with a loving family who will miss him greatly.
May God Bless and Keep You.
JOHN MARTHALER MUSCATINE, Iowa - John Joseph Marthaler, 86, of Muscatine, died Friday, January 30, 2004, Riverbend Nursing Home. Service will be 11:00 a.m. Thursday at St. Mathias Church, 215 W. Eighth St. The Reverend John P. Gallagher will officiate. Burial will be in St Mary's Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be Thursday from 10 a.m. until service time at the church. Memorials may be made to Ss. Mary and Mathias Parish or the donor's choice. The Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the Marthaler family at www.wittichfuneralhome.com. John was born December 7, 1917, in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of John Jacob and Josephine Haecker Marthaler. He married Loraine Kegel, June 13, 1942. John enlisted in the American Air Force in St. Paul, MN in December of 1942. He was a waist Gunner on a B-17 with the 487th Bomb Group based in Lavenham, England. Their plane was shot down November 25 th, 1944, returning from their 28th mission over the oil fields of Merseberg. He was interned in Luft IV prison camp. He endured the forced Black March of 600 miles across northern Germany for 85 days during the coldest winter there on record. He was freed by the British Troops in April of 1945. He rarely spoke of this part of his life until many years later. He received the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the European Theater Medal with three stars, and the POW medal. He was a life member of the Disabled American Veterans; a member of American Ex POW's, the VFW Post 4462 in St. Paul and the American Legion Post 27 in Muscatine. He was also a member of the Muscatine Power Boat Club. He was plant manager at Keller Manufacturing. He then owned and operated Mississippi Marine Sales of Fairport for over 25 years. He enjoyed this field and the camaraderie of fellow boaters until his health failed. He is survived by his wife, Loraine, of Muscatine; two sons, Richard Marthaler and his wife, Dalene, of Wilton and Thomas Marthaler and his wife, Kristy, of Blue Springs, Missouri; one daughter, Margaret "Peggy" Ott and her husband, Larry, of West Des Moines, seven grandchildren, Chad Marthaler and his wife, Amy, of Wilton, Larissa Wilson and her husband, Dustin, of Fruitland, Amanda Marthaler of Muscatine, Daniel Ott, Andrew Ott, Rebecca Ott all of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Gabriel Marthaler of Blue Springs, Missouri; one brother, David Marthaler and his wife, Catherine, of Orangevale, California; one sister, Virginia Russell of St. Paul, Minnesota.. He was preceded in death by his parents, one son Jerry in 1997, and three sisters.
My condolences to Richard and the family - I have known John for many years and I as well as anyone who came in contact wirh John will miss him. John Wagamon
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. May the Lord give you strength and your family and friends give you peace as you go through this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with you, my friend. Roxie
Dear Peggy and family,
I am sorry to hear of the loss of your father. He was an American hero! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless. Love, Kathy
Lorraine, My heart goes out to you with the loss of John.
Know that God is with you and your family and that John is in a wonderful place.
Debi Estabrook (I worked with Loraine at Carver,Michaels,Taylor over 20 years ago.)
I was so saddened to learn of John's passing, but know that he is in a better place and in peace now. Please accept my sincere sympathy. God be with you and yours........love, Pat
Dear Marthaler Family,
I bought a new boat from John in 1975. John also worked on another boat that I had later.
He was always very polite and a real gentleman. We got to talk a lot and when I came into
his dealership he always knew me by name. Your right, he never talked about his WWII experience.
He certainly was a member of the greatest generation. I'm sure he will be greatly missed.
You have my sympathies, Tom Moeller
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