Wanda VanBuskirk Martens Hirsch, born in 1920, in Wolf Point, died peacefully Jan. 8, 2008, in her home in Havre surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
Vigil services will be conducted 7 p.m. Friday at the Holland Bonine Funeral Home in Havre. Funeral Mass will be at 9:30 a. m. Saturday at St. Jude’s Catholic Church with the Rev. Robert D. Grosch presiding. Committal services will immediately follow at Highland Cemetery in Havre. There will be a luncheon at St. Jude Parish Center. Wanda was proud of the fact that her mother was an immigrant from Ireland who came to the United States through Ellis Island after the great potato famine. She was also very proud that her family homesteaded in the Fresno Lake area, near Havre when she was a young child. She graduated from St. Jude’s grade school and Havre High School. In high school, she worked for the F.A. Buttrey Co. And the Lyric and Orpheum Theatres. After high school, she attended the University of Montana, and when World War II broke out, she returned to Havre where she met and married Jesse Martens. Jesse’s career with the Immigration and Naturalization Service took their family to Havre, Helena, Maine, and the Virgin Islands. Wanda had fond memories of summers spent working at the Chief Mountain Entrance Station at Glacier National Park. Upon Jesse’s untimely death in 1960 in the Virgin Islands, she moved back to Havre with her three children. She worked for several years at the La Mode Dress Shop in Havre. She married Dr. Bill “Doc” Hirsch in 1965. Together they operated the Havre Veterinary Clinic and Skip Cattle Company. Doc preceded her in death in 1993. Wanda was a member of the Catholic Daughters, St. Jude’s Choir, Snow Dance Ski Association, Cowbells, Northern Montana Hospital Auxiliary, American Veterinary Medical Association Auxiliary and an honorary member of the Eagle Creek National Ski Patrol. She spent many years volunteering at the soup kitchen in Havre and in her grandchildren’s classes at St. Jude’s. She loved painting, yard sales, telling stories about the old days in Havre, and shopping at Herberger’s. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family on Whitefish Lake and in the Bear Paw Mountains. She was preceded in death by her parents, Marie (Callahan) and Raymond VanBuskirk; her sisters, Dorothy and Dorrance, and her husbands, Jesse and Doc. She is survived by her twin brother Warren VanBuskirk of Havre; her children, Roger (Barbara) Martens of Missoula, David (Kris) Martens of Havre and Shelley (Marvin) Miller of Dayton, Ohio, and grandchildren, Hilary and Emily Martens of Missoula, Jesse and David Martens of Havre, and Sarah, Rubin, Rachel, David, and Levi Miller of Ohio. Wanda very much appreciated new friendships forged and care received in her final days by her special caregivers. Memorials may be given in Mrs. Hirsch’s name to The St. Jude Catholic School. Arrangements are in the care of Holland & Bonine Funeral Home of Havre.