Shirley Rae Lien Martin


On December 20, 2020, Shirley Rae Martin passed away at the Northfield Retirement Care Center at the age of 95. Shirley’s loving son Rob visited often and was with her in her final hours.

Shirley was born on April 28, 1925, in Superior, Wisconsin, to Fred and Anne Lien. She grew up on the family farm riding horses and milking cows. Shirley had a special gift for working with horses and was successful in training several difficult animals that no one else could manage!

Growing up in Superior, Shirley met the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Martin who came from the neighboring town of Poplar. Shirley fondly recalled going ice skating with Bob and how they began to talk about marriage. Shirley went on to graduate from Superior Central High School in 1942 and Bob went on to fight in WWII and earn a purple heart. When he returned from the war, the two married in 1945.

The young couple settled in South Range, WI and began a family. They raised two daughters, Linda and Candace, and one son, Rob. Shirley loved being a mom, camping and fishing with her husband, gardening and playing cards and Trivial Pursuit with her family and friends.

In 2014, Shirley moved to Northfield, MN to be close to her son, Rob. She resided at the Northfield Retirement Center. During her later years, Shirley had the opportunity to be a part of Northfield history. At age 90, she attended the historic move of the 1888 Northfield Train Depot, as it was relocated to its new home on the other side of Third Street. A bitter day in January, Shirley turned out and braved the cold to support the efforts of the Save the Northfield Depot group.

Shirley was a determined, strong-willed and sassy woman with a flair for fashion. Her philosophy was: the more sparkle the better! Time spent with Shirley was never boring, and everyone who knew her has a memory of her that brings a smile to their faces.

Shirley is survived by her daughter Linda Gustafson of Waukesha, WI, son Rob Martin (Patricia) of Northfield, MN, seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband Bob, daughter Candace Johnson, sons-in-law Terry Johnson and Bill Gustafson, brother Jack Lien (Roberta), and sister Laurel Martin (Russell). A private family graveside service will be held at Parkview Cemetery, the first week in January in Hawthorne, Wisconsin.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home.

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