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Beth E. Martin

Beth E. Martin

February 15, 2020

We’re doin’ good, at least that is what she would say. Beth E. Martin (maiden name Stephens) has left us…and we are worse off for it. For all that didn’t know her, we were always doing good, no matter the circumstances. Lost in the middle of the night far away from home, or lost within our day-to-day pursuit of happiness, she would be of the opinion it could be worse, and if we would just take a minute to look at it, we would notice how great we have it.

Beth began her days running around the woods and creek beds of Starbuck, MN. Her father (Mason Stephens) was a telephone lineman and her mother Joyce Stephens (maiden name Erickson) worked within the Clerk of Courts. She was a small town girl, and just so happened she was independent and smart. She had a little sister, Joele, that kept her honest as well. She had the ability to make her life anything she wanted it to be. Thank goodness she chose us.

As we have been told, Beth was more like her mother than her father. For us, she was always the optimist and frequent human embodiment of joy. She no doubt would challenge the Sun in a competition of Most Influential on making the day bright. It would be a close call, but the Sun has a size advantage and frankly shouldn’t be in her weight class.

Beth was short…but only in height. She had talent, determination, and a belief that it would all work out.  This was true in her choice of husband, as they were married for 45 years, and the cheese-ball of a man (Michael Martin) at 19 years old asked her to check on a broken typewriter. How did that work!? That was his hook to convince her to go out to “Look Out Below” restaurant on their first date. The odds of this working…baffling.

Softball and volleyball came naturally, and she would’ve loved all the sports available to women now that were not common in her youth.  Her greatest talent may have been her belief in herself. She used this many times as she jumped into new and challenging endeavors with every job change.

A couple quick stats: Born December 12, 1954 in Starbuck, MN; Graduate of Durand HS in 1972; Married to Michael F. Martin in 1974; Served in the US Air Force from 1975 -1979 (Italy and Montana); UW-Eau Claire graduate of both History (1981) and Journalism (198x);

Her professional pursuits included publishing, newspapers, realty, and The Highground Veteran’s Memorial, but all paled in comparison to her love of the Arpin Library and her time as its Director. Her creativity and ingenuity were at their best during her years in Arpin.

She has been to exotic places with sandy beaches, up in mountains, big cities, dangerous neighborhoods, fancy restaurants. All the places agree: they were more fun when she was there.

Where she didn’t want to be is on the wrong side of a cancer diagnosis. Cancer tested the very limits of her optimistic nature. She faced every treatment and battled every monumental misfortune of this disease. She is everything we want to be in life. That is how we will remember her.

A few important people who left before her were her father, Mason; her mother, Joyce; and Beth’s daughter, Sarah.

The remaining family, of which she loved dearly, include her husband Michael; her sons, Christopher (Megan) and Andrew (Katie); her sister, Joele (Dan); her grandchildren, Mason, Mac, and Emmet; her nieces and nephews, Leslie (Rich), Daniel (Shannon), Jamie (John), Eric (Sarah), and Emmet; her mother-in-law, Dorothy; sister-in-law, Margaret; and brother-in-law, John (Sarah), with grandnieces and grandnephews Camille, Richard, Ethan, Lochlan, Rexton, and Adeline (note: all of these people are less cool due to Beth’s passing).

A Celebration of Beth’s life will be held at 12 NOON, Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Chippewa Valley Cremation Services – Celebration of Life Center, 1717 Devney Drive, Altoona, WI (next to Charter Spectrum).  Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. and continue following the service during the luncheon all at the Celebration of Life Center.

Memorials are preferred in Beth’s name to Lester Public Library of Arpin at www.aprinpl.org or any humane society of your choosing.

The family would to thank all the doctors & staff at Riverview UW Cancer Center in Wisconsin Rapids, the nurses & staff of Aspirus Hospice, and all prayer groups, especially Bethesda Lutheran in Eau Claire.


11 a.m. - 12 Noon at Chippewa Valley Cremation Services – Celebration of Life Center, 1717 Devney Drive, Altoona, WI.


12 NOON, Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Chippewa Valley Cremation Services – Celebration of Life Center, 1717 Devney Drive, Altoona, WI.

Florist Information

Avalon Floral - All flowers should be delivered to the Celebration of Life Center by 9:30 a.m. Saturday, February 22.


  • Rindy Mulheron There are no words that I can say that will take away the sadness you are all feeling at this time. But knowing that Beth/Mom is at peace and no longer in any pain gives you a little peace. Beth was a great fun loving person and I will miss our long phone calls and my over night when I am in town and her and I would have dinner and cold one.
    Know that my thoughts are with all of you and sending love and hugs your way as you go though this very tuff time. Love, Rindy
    (To quote Beth it will all be ok, she would always tell me it will be ok)

    February 25 at 12:48pm

  • Jay Wolf Mike there are no words to heal during a time like this. I hope knowing the impact Beth had on this world will be the beginning. I won't be able to make the service so I wanted to simply share with you what an absolute pleasure knowing Beth was. From the first day I knocked on your door in 2013 until the last conversation we had about the kids 529 accounts, without fail we would end up laughing and having so much fun during the call it was always a treat to schedule our next call. My prayers are with you and your family.

    February 21 at 11:57am

  • Tanya Kollross-Krings I met Beth back in 2007 when we worked together. The moment I met Beth I knew that I had the pleasure of knowing someone special. A truly amazing person. When she took the Library Director position and our paths crossed again, I was so happy that my family got to meet her too. My deepest condolences to her entire family, she will be missed.

    February 20 at 8:52pm

  • Sue Nelson Beth hired me to work at the Arpin Library as the Story Hour person when I retired from my full time job back in 2013. I thoroughly enjoyed both working for and with Beth. She was a wonderful boss, supportive and positive, and so much fun to be around. We always laughed! After retiring from that position I would occasionally stop in there when in the area; a 20 minute drive from my home. It was always fun to ‘catch up’ with her. On a more recent stop I learned she was no longer there due to a “medical condition”. I truly regret not following up with her on this. I am deeply saddened, yet so very happy to have had the opportunity to know her!

    February 20 at 7:44PM

  • Samantha Wolf Beth was my director at the Arpin library. I can say with certainty that her boundless enthusiasm and bulldog attitude were foundational to me becoming the librarian I am today. She was an empowering force to be reckoned with! I will miss Beth dearly, and the she will hold a fond place in my heart.

    February 20 at 6:32PM

  • Andy Ryan There have only been 2 obituaries in the last year that have caused me to shed tears. This is one of them. I did not know Beth or her family, but it was clear that they shared a deep abiding love. This is the greatest treasure one can hope for. Thank you for a wonderful obituary about a wonderful person.

    February 20 at 4:31PM

  • Eldine Cole To Beth Martin's Family,
    By way of introduction: I was on the Library Board when Beth was chosen to be the Director of the Lester Library of Arpin. I was one of her biggest fans and supporters. We had been working on a project together when one day she was on medical leave and might not be back. I tried hard to contact her but to no avail. I would say we were close friends and know I have met some of her family at one time or another. At least, now I have closure - I have been hoping I didn't miss her obit and watching for it. My heart goes out to her family in deep love and sympathy.

    February 20 at 9:48AM

  • Barbara Schindhelm So sad to see this. Chuck and I always enjoyed time spent with Beth and Mike, especially at Country Jam. A fun and feisty lady. Love and condolences to Mike and the entire family.

    February 19 at 3:20PM

  • Tim & Jennifer Greife Though we never met Beth, we've the pleasure of knowing her two sons Andrew and Chris. Knowing their character speaks loudly and for miles the type of person she was when she was here.

    We share our deepest condolences with everyone affected by her loss, and hope that everyone may find solace in the great memories you've shared together.

    God Bless.

    February 19 at 1:24PM

  • Roseann McCann Beth and I met while we were in the Altoona Jaycees. She was always a lot of fun to work with on projects. I'm sad to hear of her passing and I was fortunate to know her.

    February 19 at 10:46AM

  • Carol I didn't know Beth, but this obituary is such a beautiful tribute. Definitely one of the most touching obituaries I've ever read. She sounds like an amazing person . . . the world needs more Beths! My deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Beth.

    February 19 at 6:44AM

  • Elaine Micheal and family, Sorry for your loss I will always carry Beth in my heart. Being able to work with her in Arpin was on experience of a life time. I will always treasure it forever. And to Beth I found the flamingos. Friends, Elaine

    February 19 at 12:57AM

  • Judy Strigel Beth always knew what was happening in our lives and would ask how things were going and if there was anything she could help with. Very friendly, bubbly and helpful all the time. She was missed in Arpin when she had to resign. May God grant her eternal rest.

    February 18 at 8:46PM

  • Patty Procknow Mike, Chris & Andrew,
    I am sorry for your loss. Beth was always that ray of sunshine making everything you did with her a blast. She left a positive impression on everyone who knew her. I hope the memories help ease the pain that you must be feeling.

    February 18 at 7:16PM

  • Shelly Grimm I got the opportunity to work with Beth when she took over the position at the Arpin Lester Library, Beth was always looking at the bright side, always positive and never complained of anything I deeply admired that of her. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family.

    February 18 at 3:29PM

  • Bill procknow Sorry for your loss

    February 18 at 6:32AM

  • Chloe Im very sorry for your loss I bet she was a great person

    February 17 at 10:32PM

  • Nick White Thoughts and prayers to all!

    February 17 at 6:45PM

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