CHINOOK Dorothy Martin Kleinjan, 83, died Friday, April 20, 2007, at the Sweet Memorial Home after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service is planned for Friday, June 22, at the Messiah L u t h e r a n Church at 11 a. m. with P a s t o r M i c h a e l Dahle. Dorothy was born June 5, 1924, to Herbert and Albertine (Marxer) Wellens in Great Falls. She grew up there with her two sisters, Ruth and Betty. They were blessed with many Marxer relatives living in the Eden and Millegan communities to spend time with in the country. She graduated early from Great Falls High School in January 1942, and began college immediately, earning a BA degree in elementary education in 1943 from the University of Great Falls at the age of 19. She began her teaching career at the Orr School Southeast of Ulm. She lived in a teacherage there and was responsible for keeping the coal fires burning, hauling the water, teaching grades three through eight, and playing host to many of the community social events such as square dances, box socials and card parties; all without any electricity. She then moved to Hingham, once more enjoying multi-grade teaching and the small town community life, attending activities and sporting events up and down the Hi-Line, and helping her husband run the farm. Later she returned to country school teaching for a time at the North Yantic School after her move to Havre. Dorothy married Charles “Red” Martin in 1947 and they raised four children, at first spending summers on the farm in Hingham and winters in Havre, then full-time on a farm northeast of Havre. Red preceded her in death in 1974. Dorothy married Marvin Kleinjan in 1975 and they enjoyed three decades of traveling, camping, fishing, square dancing, volunteering and making a beautiful country home. Dorothy will be remembered for her ready smile, her attention to her grandchildren, her welcoming home and delicious meals, her beautiful and prolific gardens (especially grandma’s strawberry patch), her amazing sewing creations and handmade quilts, her many years of service as a room mother, scout leader, church volunteer, World Day of Prayer coordinator, Heart Fund volunteer, election judge and perpetual Lutheran Home Auxiliary president, as well as for her optimistic attitude and energy for life. She was preceded in death by her son, Bob Martin; and her sister, Betty McMaster. Dorothy is survived by her beloved husband, Marvin; her sister Ruth (Art) Nelson of Great Falls; her children Jack (Sharon) Martin of LaQuinta, Calif., Steve (Mary Jean) Martin of Helena, and Julie (Summerfield) Baldridge of Whitefish; and her step daughter Bobbie (Bob) Tadej of Fort Benton; as well as the joy of her life, her five grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Messiah Lutheran Quilters c/o Messiah Lutheran Church, 417 20th Street, Havre, MT 59501.