Martha A. Gettinger

Beloved and powerful matriarch of a huge and vibrant family, Martha Ann (Sherer) Gettinger passed away on July 9, 2020 in Grand Rapids, MN surrounded by her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She had spent the previous days doing things she had loved – walking her dogs on her favorite nature trail, swimming in Lake Wabana, laughing over lengthy meals at a huge family table, and reading in her cabin. She will be sorely missed. Martha was born March 8, 1934 to Forrest and Hazel (Holmes) Sherer in Terre Haute, IN. She attended Wiley High School and Indiana State University. It was there that a handsome young man asked her to go swimming, and after a whirlwind romance she married John “Jack” Gettinger, Sr. on November 21, 1956. They were married for 63 years and had six children, 23 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Martha was a lifelong animal lover, and always had a German Shepherd at her side (not to mention numerous other beloved dogs and grand dogs). She enjoyed horseback riding from a young age and was an outdoor enthusiast. She spent much time at “The Farm” in Illinois and cabin in Minnesota. Each year, the Martha and Jack Gettinger family would load up into their big van and explore the United States, tent-camping along the way. All of her children and grandchildren have a love of travel and outdoors because of these annual adventures. Water-skiing, hiking, horseback riding and swimming were all part of the adventure – each family member trying to outdo the other. Not to be topped, Martha water-skied at 80. Fiercely loving and loyal to her family, Martha was the organizer, chief cook, children’s book reader and central pillar of her huge clan. She didn’t blink an eye at hosting 40+ family members for meals, holidays, and summer adventures. She unfailingly nursed her son Stinnett from a childhood injury, shocking the doctors at her perseverance and dedication. She stepped in as a supporter and caregiver when her daughter, Ann, died, leaving seven young children. She was always there, with sage advice, a kiss goodnight, and her undivided attention. She loved and was loved. Preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Ann; sister, Mary Lou Lukens; brother, Wayne Sherer; grandson, Tyrel Howson; and granddaughter, Taylor Gettinger. Martha is survived by her husband, John “Jack”; five children:  Emily Condon, Katie (Paul Burrows) Akers, John (Jackie French), Stinnett (Kathleen Dunne), and Ross Gettinger; 21 grandchildren: Jessica (Bradley) Wigh, Abigail (DJ) Myers, Elizabeth (John) Evans, Jeffrey (Kaylee) Retseck Jr., Maggie Retseck, Lainey Retseck, Halcyon Retseck, John W. Gettinger, Nolan Gettinger, Josie Gettinger, Eli Gettinger, Tell (Charlie) Howson, Stinnett J. Gettinger, Jackson Gettinger, Patrick Condon, Annily Condon, Hudson Akers, Hayden (Addie) Akers, Sydney Akers, Dylan Burrous and Kesley Burrous. Also surviving are 12 great-grandchildren: Atticus, Gettinger, Elliott Wigh; Spencer and Cecilia Myers; Emmett Evans; Amelia and Waylon Retseck; Nash Akers; Jude, Milo and Auggie Howson.