Olson-Holzhuter-Cress Funeral Service, Inc.
206 West Prospect Avenue
Stoughton, WI 53589
(608) 873-9244
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Virgil Oscar "Marty" Martinson

1922 - 2016
Virgil Oscar "Marty" Martinson Obituary
Martinson, Virgil Oscar "Marty"

Stoughton- Virgil Martinson, child of God, died peacefully on August 22, 2016 at Azura Memory Care in Stoughton. He was born August 20, 1922 on a farm near Colfax, Wisconsin to Oscar and Josephine (Sorenson) Martinson. He attended rural schools and lettered in four sports at Colfax High School, graduating in 1941. That fall, he enrolled at UW-Platteville and transferred to UW-River Falls the following year. Virgil enlisted in the US Army Air Corps in March 1943 and served as a bombsight and automatic pilot mechanic until his discharge in February 1946. He received a good conduct medal, which he called his "good humor medal." He graduated from River Falls with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education in 1948. On August 15th of that year he married Annabelle Esther Lawrence in Waupun.

After two years in Auburndale teaching vocational agriculture, they moved to Marshfield where Virgil taught Vo-Ag and advised the FFA for the next 22 years. In 1955 he received a Master of Science degree. Vocational agriculture would remain his calling and career until his retirement in 1986. A Doctor of Philosophy was added to his vitae in 1970; and he spent 13 years as an educational consultant in the Department of Public Instruction. In 1972, this entailed a move to Stoughton, the only place for a proud Norwegian-American. Virgil and Ann were active members of First Lutheran Church and he was a member of many professional, civic and cultural organizations in addition to the FFA Alumni.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Marlowe and Stanton; and Ann, his wife of 53 years. On October 4, 2008, he married again to Virginia Chickey. She survives him along with her large and welcoming Kaas and Chickey families. Virgil and Ann's children are Kara with Kirk of St Paul, Kathleen of Madison, Kristi with Wes of Las Vegas, Tim with Lois of Mason, Michigan; and Tom with Lynne of Madison. Five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren also survive.

Central to his life was his deep and abiding faith in his Heavenly Father; he often told us how he felt blessed. And many have been blessed though him. His was a life full of love and service to others.

Virgil was an avid sportsman, enjoying fishing, hunting and especially golf. High school sporting events held a great attraction for him. Perhaps most of all, he loved to dance, especially on Friday nights at the Stoughton VFW.

He greatly enjoyed the company of young people, often serving as a Big Brother or mentor. Working with and encouraging members and state officers of the FFA was one of his greatest joys.

His family and friends will remember him as a world-class (occasionally amazingly noisy) sleeper. We were awed by his ability to talk along with his beloved World War Two movies.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, August 26, 2016 at First Lutheran Church, 310 E. Washington Street, Stoughton, with Rev. Bill Lehmann officiating. Friends and relatives are invited to a luncheon immediately following the services in the church fellowship hall. There will be a family graveside service at Lower Running Valley Cemetery in Colfax on Saturday. Visitation will be held from 3:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Thursday, August 25, 2016 at Cress Funeral Home in Stoughton, and from 10:00 AM until the time of services Friday at church.

During his lifetime, Virgil was a generous supporter of First Lutheran Church (310 E Washington St, Stoughton 53589), Gideons (, The Alzheimer's Association (2820 Walton Commons, Suite 132, Madison 53718), and the National FFA Foundation (

The family is grateful to the team members at Azura for their kind care over these last months, and to Agrace HospiceCare workers, who have cared for Virgil and us since April.

We miss him already, but now he will be everywhere we are.

Please share your memories of Virgil at:

Cress Funeral Service

206 W. Prospect Street

Stoughton, WI 53589

(608) 873-9244
Published in the Marshfield News Herald on Aug. 24, 2016
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