Martin Gaudian, 1922-2016

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Martin Carl Gaudian, a longtime resident of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and most recently at Tudor Oaks in Muskego, Wisconsin, entered into eternal life on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, at the age of 94. 

Martin was born to Dora and Albert Gaudian in Paullina, Iowa, on Oct. 27, 1922.

He is survived by brother, Melbourne, of Arvada, Colorado; and sister, Mary Jane Elliott, of Chandler, Arizona. He is further survived by his beloved wife, Kathleen, of 64 years; children Beth (Pete) Wunsch of Beavercreek, Ohio, Bryce (Cindy) Gaudian of Hayward and Andrea (Tom) Hensiak of Muskego; grandchildren Cayce (Kenny) Huebsch, Carl (Emelia) Gaudian, Emily (Tyler) Kerber, Laura (Tim) Weller, Coast Guardsman Caleb Gaudian, and Allysa, Kayla and Krista Hensiak; and great-grandchildren Isaiah, Alivia, Josephine Gaudian and Adeline Kerber.

Martin Gaudian

Martin Gaudian

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During World War II, Martin served as a sergeant in the Air Force technical division, and after the Battle of the Bulge he was transferred to the Occupational Army to build stockades for prisoners at Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. His construction training under his contractor father during high school prepared him for such responsibility.

Also in high school, he made National Honor Society, Boy’s State, various music groups and honorable mention in All-State football.

After the service, he attended Valparaiso University where he graduated with a teaching degree. He married his college sweetheart in January 1951. Martin’s life career was working with children — eight years at Immanuel Lutheran School in Waterloo, Iowa, averaging classes of 45 students, then 24 years at Lakeview’s fifth-grade in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In summers he worked with Oak Creek Recreation Department’s playground programs; in winters instructing archery and ice rink supervision.

He taught Sunday school many years and worked with church youth groups in Iowa. Dartball was his recreation, and he was honored to be inducted into the Wisconsin Dartball Hall of Fame. He was an avid gardener, even working after retirement for several area plant nurseries. Martin was a lover of birds — building many birdhouses in his lifetime — and for the past two years had endeared himself to three wild sandhill cranes who visited him on his deck daily through many months of the year.

Martin had unshakable faith in his Savior Jesus, enduring faithfulness to family and friends, a generous spirit, zest for life and he freely showered joy and kindness on all he met.

Along with making paper airplanes, it brought him much happiness drawing an inestimable number of Popeye cartoons in his lifetime for students, friends and family.  One particular Popeye remains in a section of sidewalk he etched into the hardening concrete 70 some years ago in his hometown of Paullina.

He was laid to rest at Forest Hill Cemetery in Oak Creek on Nov. 26.