Bert Martz, Jr. was born in 1935 in Fort Collins, CO, he was a son of the late Bert Martz, Sr. and Myrtle Allen Martz.
Bert Martz, Jr., 85, of Lugoff, passed away on Saturday, May 23, 2020.
As a young man of his time, Mr. Martz was afforded an 8th grade education before entering into the workforce. He worked alongside his father at Evan Roberts Ranch, one of the largest landowners in Colorado. Known for his hard work, it didn’t take long before becoming Mr. Roberts “Right Hand Man”. Having much experience working with horses he was introduced to Ms. Jacqueline Stewart who lived in Maryland but owned a Ranch in Evergreen, CO. Ms. Stewart was very well to do and was known for her love of horses. She was quick to notice Mr. Martz and his ability to handle horses under his care, so much so that she recruited Mr. Martz to be the rider to show one of her famous Palomino Stallions to be viewed by the late President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon and his Cabinet, (unfortunately President Eisenhower was pulled away and unable to attend).
Mr. Martz’s love for his country soon caught up to him as he joined the U.S. Army at the young age of 19. Though he had a few breaks in the U.S. Army, he managed to retire with 23 accumulative years of active duty service, including two tours in Vietnam with training in Panama. Mr. Martz volunteered for the second tour leaving him to be the last of the soldiers to return. While on active duty, Mr. Martz was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Parachute Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 Device, 2 Bronze Star Medals, Aircraft Crewman Badge, Air Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Expert Qualification Badge M-16 Rifle, 7 Good Conduct Medals, Army Service Ribbon, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Achievement Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal.
During Mr. Martz’s “free time” he, with his wife Mary, two sons, Jeff and Joe Martz, built two houses from the ground up. One was to be the family home and the second home, built years later, was to ensure his children always had a roof over their head. Mr. Martz’s true love was restoring old cars, bumper to bumper, back to their original beauty. He was also known for beefing up the old Mustangs and taking them down to the local drag strip, winning many more than not. In his leisure time, he always seemed to have a couple motorcycles parked somewhere in his 13 car garage that he and his wife Mary always loved to ride up into the mountains or out to the beach, usually with a couple kids tagging along. One year even going as far as to ride motorcycles from Raeford, NC to Fort Collins, Colorado to visit family, with kids in tow. While there Mr. Martz found a rusted out 57 Thunderbird (T-bird), in much need of restoration, he just had to have it, so he bought an old 56 Ford pickup to haul the T-bird and the motorcycle back to NC.
After Mr. Martz retired from the U.S. Army, he found retirement not so fulfilling and eventually found a job driving a Semi-Truck; and convinced his wife, Mary, to join him. Mr. Martz and wife, Mary pulled doubles for Watkins Motor Line later transferring over to FedEx Ground. Driving a truck for many years cross country, they eventually found their dream home in Antlers, OK, so they packed up and moved. In Antlers, OK they bought an 80 acre Ranch and grazed over 75 Calving Cows and a bull. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Martz moved his parents from Fort Collins, CO to OK to live in a small home next to them on his ranch so his father, Mr. Martz, Sr. could live out his days on a ranch surrounded by cattle he loved so much.
In October 2013, Mr. Martz had the misfortune of being diagnosed with Lewy Bodies Dementia, better known as Alzheimer’s disease. His daughter, Connie moved Mr. Martz into her home until she could no longer provide the medical care he required and reluctantly moved him into a VA facility better equipped to provide proper care for him. At this facility Mr. Martz was allowed to be signed out on “Pass” which his daughter Connie did on a routine basis.
Surviving are his children, Jeff Martz, Tommy Joe Martz (Maryann), and Connie Martz; 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren; his former wife, Mary A. Martz and sister-in-law, Linda Martz.
He was predeceased by his brothers, Andy Martz and John Martz; and sister Rose “Tob” Harrington.
No man has accomplished more in his lifetime and with more honors than my father, the Cowboy – Soldier – Truck Driver and most of all – A Father!!!