Helga Martin, 2:00 PM, Friday, April 20, 2018


On a cool fall day in the little village of Driedorf, Germany, the world was blessed with a beautiful angel.Helga was born on September 25, 1938, to Alfred and Lina (Merkel) Brandenburger, the youngest of 5 children.She was called home following a very brief illness on Friday, February 23, 2018, with her son and daughter in law by her side.

Helga grew up in Driedorf where she attended school and upon graduation continued to work.One of the main attractions in this small German village was the handsome young American soldiers who came to town during their off duty.There was one particular tall, thin, red headed Air Force guy who caught Helga’s eye.On May 26, 1962, Helga and James W. Martin were married and in December of 1963, God blessed them with a son, Thomas Alfred Martin.The family spent the next 25 plus years alternating tours of duty between Germany and the United States.During these tours, Jim and Helga would meet other service families who would become lifelong friends and an extension of their own family.One such family was the Walters Family – Walt and Jo and their five children – Betty, Nancy, Roger, George and David, whom Helga loved dearly.

Helga was one of a kind and she exemplified the true meaning of a “German Frau”.She worked from daylight to dark, never stopping.Helga loved with her whole entire being – if you were loved by Helga – there was NO doubt of the undying devotion she had for you.However, Helga could be a little stick of dynamite when necessary and that was evident as well!

When Jim retired from the Air Force in 1980, the family returned to Longview where they made their home for the next 37 years.Helga continued her career with K-Mart and retired as assistant manager after 25 plus years of service.

Following her retirement, Helga did not slow down. She continued to have monthly “get togethers” at her home for her “K Mart bunch” as she called them.In addition, Helga loved her monthly luncheons with her “German Girls”- other wives of retired military men.She was a long time member of First Lutheran Church in Longview where she participated in Meals on Wheels and weekly quilting bees.She walked in the mall every weekday morning with her “walking buddies”, and last but not least, Helga took up line dancing until November when she moved to Oklahoma to be near her son and daughter-in-law.

Helga was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jim Martin, whom she so lovingly referred to as her “gentle giant”, her parents, Alfred and Lina Brandenburger, Jim’s parents, W. R. and Virginia Martin, her brothers, Fred and Helmut Brandenburger, her beloved sister, Tillie Brandenburger, her brother in law, Willie Meuser and her niece, Birgit Maritzki.

She is survived by her son, Tom and his wife, Deborah, of Norman, Oklahoma, her grandchildren and spouses, Blair (Todd) Link, James (Nikki) Phillips, Stephanie (Frank) Hinton and Rachael (Andrew) Garcia.Great grandchildren include Addison, Parker, Hudson, Andrew, Jr., and Genevieve - all of whom brought Helga great joy.

In addition, her sister, Elsa Meuser, as well as nephews Edward (Eddie) Maritzki, Sasha Maritzki and his wife, Anja, all of Driedorf, Germany, survive their beloved Helga.

She is also survived by Jim’s family, brother and sister in law, Ray and Carolyn Martin of San Angelo and Virginia Mulkey of Dallas, nieces Rebecca Hodges, Jill Fontenot and Lauren Shriver as well as numerous cousins and a host of friends.

Helga lived a full, loving and happy life.She was sure to reemphasize this after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in late January.Just recently she shared with her cousin, Susan, “I’ve lived a good life. I had a wonderful husband and a great son.I know where I’m going and I’m ready”.

While those of us left behind will miss Helga terribly, we know where she is today and she is no longer suffering.A graveside memorial service for Helga will be held at 2:00 pm in Gilmer, Texas on Friday, April 20, 2018.In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society in Helga’s name so that others may be spared the sorrow of this disease.

You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race and you have kept the faith…well done my good and faithful servant. II Timothy 4:7


Cris jones commented on 10-Mar-2018 07:35 PM
Dear family,
Please have no doubt that God will remember her and keep her memory safe. He will surely be glad to bring her back to life in a perfect world when suffering will be no more and we will all welcome back our loved ones that are asleep in death. (Revelation 21:4 & John 5:28, 29) May our loving Father bring your family the peace and comfort only He can provide.


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