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Born: Jan 25, 1952

Date of Passing: Jan 10, 2015

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PATRICIA JOAN MARTENS (nee WEBER) 1952-2015 Patricia Martens passed away peacefully at home in Kleefeld, Manitoba on January 10, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. She is survived by her loving husband of 40 years Gary Martens of Kleefeld, their son John Martens (Emilie Lemay) and granddaughter Charlotte, daughter Rebecca Guderian (Robert Guderian) and grandson Alexander, her sister Janet Hill (Sandy Hill), niece Karen and nephew Warren, and brother John Weber (Connie Mariano Weber) nephew Mark and niece Melissa. She was predeceased by her parents Howard and Hazel Weber and niece Laura Jean Hill. Patricia was born in Calgary, Alberta on January 25, 1952, and was baptized in the Broadway First Baptist Church in Winnipeg in 1973. She taught chemistry and mathematics at St. Mary's Academy in Winnipeg. Patricia met Gary during her undergraduate degree and they were married on August 10, 1974. They built their first home together in Kleefeld and moved there in 1978 where they started a family. Patricia became actively involved in her community which included leading the Steinbach La Leche League group for many years. She obtained an IBCLC designation, MSc, PhD, and became a distinguished Professor at the University of Manitoba. She was Director of The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy for 10 years and retired from the role in 2014. She received numerous awards throughout her career and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2013. Patricia loved spending time with family and friends and blessed all with her gift of hospitality. She was an active member of her local community and church. She enjoyed travelling and speaking at conferences and events around the world. A funeral service for Patricia will be held at Kleefeld Evangelical Mennonite Church on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. Refreshments will follow in the lower auditorium. Donations may be made to the Dr. Patricia J. Martens Endowment Fund at the University of Manitoba. Many thanks to Patricia's health care team including Dr. Karen Toews and Deborah Krahn. Arrangements by BIRCHWOOD FUNERAL CHAPEL 1-204-346-1030 OR 1-888-454-1030

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 12, 2015

Condolences & Memories (36 entries)

  • I only just learned that Mrs. Martens passed away today (sept. 22/2015 in the St. Mary's alumnae magazine). Mrs. Martens was one of the most insightful, talented and smart individuals I have ever known. She made math and chemistry so easy to understand. She was kind. She likely did not know this, but she gave me some of the best personal advice I have ever received (1977) which made a huge positive impact on me as a young adult. I very sorry that she is gone. My deepest condolences to the family. - Posted by: Debra Belmonte (Former high school student) on: Sep 22, 2015

  • I has the pleasure of doing some part time work for Dr. Martens one summer on some background research for her work which helped me to earn my tuition as a graduate student. She was gracious and unfailingly kind. She was also very smart and she really knew her stuff. So sorry to hear of her untimely passing. - Posted by: Natalie Bjorklund (Summer Graduate Student Employee) on: Jun 21, 2015

  • Pat ("Mrs. Martens") was one of the best reasons for having attended St. Mary's Academy and by far and away my favourite teacher. It was so wonderful to have kept in touch with her for years after. My deep condolences to Gary and the rest of the family for your loss. - Posted by: Jackie Dixon (SMA student) on: Mar 21, 2015

  • I met Pat at St. Mary's Academy as I started my career as a first year teacher. Pat generously gave me her notes, her worksheets and her tests as I stumbled to get on my feet. I am not sure I would have continued teaching if Pat hadn't been there to carry me through my first year. I have now taught for 38 years and thank Pat for making me the teacher I am today. You are forever in my memories. - Posted by: Janice Nicklin (Taught together at St Mary's Academy) on: Mar 09, 2015

  • I offer my sincerest condolences to Pat's family on this saddest of losses. Pat was an amazing inspiration, and led with enthusiasm and passion. She will be deeply missed, and remembered always. - Posted by: Suzanne Tough (Colleague) on: Feb 02, 2015

  • Pat will be remembered as a revered and eloquent speaker on public health policy in Canada. - Posted by: Dr. Drona Rasali (Professional colleague and co-author) on: Jan 27, 2015

  • I just read this sad news through CPHA website and I am floored. Patricia was one of the brightest minds I ever got the chance to meet. She was very involved with PHIRNET and I had the privilege to listen to her lectures on grant writing through CAHSPR annual conferences as well. She was extremely scientific while concrete, people oriented and down to earth at the same time. A rare combination. I will deeply miss her presence in the public health constellation. She was truly a leader, a role model and an inspiration for me. My deepest sympathy for all her family and friends. - Posted by: Alejandra Dubois (student) on: Jan 26, 2015

  • La Leche League Canada extends our deepest sympathy. Pat was a long-standing and inspiring LLLC Leader who continued to offer breastfeeding support in her local community. We are grateful that Pat also served on the Board of Directors as well as in the Professional Liaison department of La Leche League Canada. We share your loss. - Posted by: Linda Mellway McIntyre (Board of Directors, La Leche League Canada) on: Jan 21, 2015

  • Pat was one of the first individuals I met in the field of human lactation. She was ever so welcoming, bright, funny, and dedicated. Her lectures were always entertaining and enlightening - quite a feat for a statistician. Her pioneering work will continue to benefit many. I offer my heartfelt condolences to her family. - Posted by: Shirley Gross (Colleague ) on: Jan 20, 2015

  • I had the pleasure of serving on some graduate student committees with Pat, and always learned something new about research and statistics in our meetings. She was a wonderful colleague who contributed substantially to our knowledge of health policy and applied health. When I read the Globe and Mail piece on mesothelioma several months ago, I was so very impressed with her courage and willingness to apply her academic credibility and personal experience to call attention to the appalling lack of regulation around asbestos in Canada. My sincere condolences to Pat's husband and family. - Posted by: Elizabeth Ready (Colleague) on: Jan 17, 2015

  • I worked with Pat a number of times and in varying contexts. I liked and respected her very much. She was outstanding - thoughtful, caring, engaged, helpful, smart, accomplished, funny, inspirational. My deep condolences to Gary and family. - Posted by: Rosalyn Howard (colleague) on: Jan 15, 2015

  • Pat was such a kind and generous person. I met her while she was doing her Graduate Studies at UManitoba and through the years kept in touch, even if it was even for a hallway chat. I remember her for her famous power point presentations and unique sense of humor. I will miss her. Condolences to Gary, John and Becky and their families. - Posted by: Moneca Sinclaire (Friend) on: Jan 15, 2015

  • Pat had a great ability to communicate research...and especially to make her subject interesting and fun. Her great success at the Centre for Health Policy was due to high quality research that was developed in concert with government...research that had immediate relevance.We shared a strong interest in rural communities, knowledge translation, and health science policy in Canada. She has left an important legacy in all these areas. Will miss you Pat! - Posted by: Renee Lyons (fellow health researcher; CIHR groupie) on: Jan 15, 2015

  • Pat has been one of my favourite people for as long as I have known her. A truly rare and remarkable human being, personally and professionally. Her genuine caring, her incredible capacity and commitment, and her very special spirit. Pat was an inspiration in her life and in her death. - Posted by: Louis Barre (friend and colleague) on: Jan 15, 2015

  • I had the pleasure of working with Pat through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Public Health Association. Pat was an incredibly special woman – brilliant, funny, kind, a true teacher, and WHAT A LAUGH! She will be deeply missed in our professional circle. Her contributions to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Institute of Population and Public Health have left a lasting echo in our hearts and work. - Posted by: Sarah Viehbeck (Colleague) on: Jan 14, 2015

  • My condolences to the family! May God bless you in this time of loss and mourning and sadness: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." I remember vividly and still am grateful for the one and only time we visited you many years back with our then small children. Georg Schreckenbach - Posted by: H. Georg Schreckenbach (Member of the University of Manitoba) on: Jan 14, 2015

  • Pat was such a wonderful person. She is probably the most well-rounded person I have ever met. I was always amazed at how much she got done, even while she was undergoing chemo. Her energy, practicality, common sense and desire to improve health go way-back, long before she was director of MCHP. But what really stands out for me, was her sensitivity to people. She was a good friend to so many people. She cared deeply about her colleagues at MCHP. And of course, she was a strong family person and involved with her community, too. Her life was too short, but it was well-lived. I will miss her. Morley and I offer our condolences to Gary, John and Becky and their families. - Posted by: Gail Marchessault (Friend) on: Jan 14, 2015

  • We have fond memories of our time in Kleefeld with Gary and Pat and sitting in on the Sunday School class that they taught together. We are saddened to hear the news that Pat has gone home to be with the Lord. We send our condolences to Gary and his family and pray that our Lord Jesus Christ will give grace, peace, and comfort to them during this time of grief and loss. "...that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope." - Posted by: Phil and Ellen Koop (friend) on: Jan 14, 2015

  • The members and staff of the Canadian Public Health Association are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Pat Martens, and we extend our deepest condolences to her family and friends. CPHA was pleased to award Pat with the Association’s highest honour, the R.D. Defries Award, in 2013. A gifted educator, Dr. Martens was known for her energetic and kinaesthetic approach (who will ever forget “connect, shift and squish!”). Her outstanding work as a public health researcher, advocate, and educator demonstrates Pat’s leadership and influence in the field of public health. - Posted by: Ardene Robinson Vollman (Chair, CPHA Board of Directors) on: Jan 14, 2015

  • I first met Pat and Gary in 1975, when I moved to Winnipeg. They became good friends and have remained so, even from a great distance. Pat was brilliant, caring, thoughtful and warm. My heart goes out to Gary, John, Becky and the rest of the family at this difficult time. She will be greatly missed by many! - Posted by: Barbara Bergstrom (old friend) on: Jan 13, 2015

  • Pat Martens was not only a valued friend and colleague, she was a beautiful example and model for a life based on values of human rights and justice. Justice for mothers and children, for First Nations peoples, for her community and her fellow Canadians. I was privileged to have known her, to have shared in her work for mothers and children and to have benefited from her knowledge and wisdom. She was a national treasure and will be greatly missed. - Posted by: Elisabeth Sterken (friend and colleague) on: Jan 13, 2015

  • We at CFHI are saddened to hear of the loss of Dr. Patricia Martens (1952-2015). All of us at CFHI express our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. She first joined CFHI’s Board of Directors in 2009, participating in every standing committee of the Board before her departure in 2014. She was a valued member of CFHI’s Board of Directors, and her insight, wisdom and enthusiasm for healthcare improvement will be missed. Dr. Martens embodied what it means to be a true pioneer – taking what we know from health and social services research, and finding endlessly creative ways of transferring it to what we do in practice. - Posted by: Maureen O'Neil (Colleague) on: Jan 13, 2015

  • Mrs. Martens was one of my favorite teachers at St Mary's Academy, teaching me both Math and Chemistry. She was a lovely person and a wonderfully gifted teacher. Rest in Peace. - Posted by: Dorothy Beacom (former student at St Mary's Academy ) on: Jan 13, 2015

  • I was a classmate of Pat's in high school and university. We shared classes and carpooled together. Pat was always the smartest kid in the class, and the nicest. What an amazing life she's had! Rest in peace, Pat. - Posted by: Don Webster (Classmate) on: Jan 13, 2015

  • My husband, Doug, and I first met Pat and Gary while attending the University of Manitoba in the early 70's. We were dating, courting and married at the same time, and enjoyed those days together very much. We were always struck by Pat's intelligence, wit, and capabilities to be a great friend. Her enthusiasm about life remained with her all her days, along with a deep humility about her many accomplishments. Doug and I left Manitoba several years ago, and have lived in Ottawa the last 30 years. We have not seen each other in years, but Pat's newsy Christmas letter every year with accompanying pictures was always a welcoming connection in our friendship. She was so proud of Gary, her kids, and her grandchildren. Our deepest sympathy extends to you Gary and family. Pat leaves a huge legacy and a treasure of memories and inspiration for her beloved family, her church, her academic community, and her friends. - Posted by: Meredith Ward (long-time friend ) on: Jan 13, 2015

  • Our profession has lost a great mentor, friend and advocate. We are so grateful for her contributions and her legacy. We will always be grateful for the way Pat made statistics humourous! Many people will benefit from Pat's work for many years to come as we study from and refer to the Core Curriculum. Condolences to the family. May God give you strength as you grieve. Thank you for sharing Pat with us. Dana Haas RN BScN IBCLC, Ontario - Posted by: Dana Haas (Colleague in Lactation Consulting) on: Jan 13, 2015

  • I don't recall when I first met Pat but she had a profound impact on how I viewed statistics and how they "tell a story"! In my opinion she was one of the most intelligent, down-to-earth practical people I have ever met! I learned so much from her and she will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time. - Posted by: Myrna Suski (Colleague) on: Jan 12, 2015

  • I worked with Pat starting in the year 2000 at the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and we interacted often at meetings and conferences. She was unique in so many ways but her amazing personality, quick wit, good judgment, dedication to prevention and to improving the health and well being of Canadians and her great sense of humor won everyone who ever came in contact with her. She was generous with her time and advice to her colleagues across the country who appreciated her honesty and commitment to helping people. She made substantial research contributions which will guide policy makers for many years as they develop programs and policies to improve the health and well being of Canadians. But above all she was a terrific person, lovable, sweet and big-hearted She was a gem and will be sorely missed by all who knew her. My most sincere condolences to her family and friends. Gilles Paradis, McGill University - Posted by: Gilles Paradis (Colleague) on: Jan 12, 2015

  • I am deeply sorry about our loss of Pat. To me, she was such an energetic, cheerful and humorous lady who was also a nice colleague and very knowledgeable professor. I will never forget her bright smile and her presentation "The Little Black Dress" she gave in ICES' 20th anniversary Symposium, which amazed everyone on site. Please accept my sincere condolences. - Posted by: Fangyun Wu (Friend and colleague in a national-wide study) on: Jan 12, 2015

  • I offer my sincere condolences to Pat's family. Everyone who knew Pat saw her as a remarkable individual with multiple and diverse talents. Along with her widely recognized professional expertise and contributions, Pat was kind, generous, thoughtful and fun. Pat was a truly genuine person and she will be missed by all of us. - Posted by: Shirley Gelskey ( ) on: Jan 12, 2015

  • A great loss to Canada's rural health research community. - Posted by: Roger Pitblado (Research colleague (Sudbury, Ontario)) on: Jan 12, 2015

  • I will never forget Patricia! She was a tour de force and a source of inspiration certainly in improving health of those living in our rural and remote communities and in believing that all have an important role to play! I also cannot pass a road sign depicting a deer or signs stating 'caution: men working overhead' without thinking about her! My deepest condolences to her family. - Posted by: Judy Read Guernsey, Halifax (friend and colleague) on: Jan 12, 2015

  • I knew Pat from her work in the lactation community. We lectured together at several conferences, and got to know one another over dinners. Pat was one of the most talented teachers I've ever observed. Her wit and humor brilliantly transformed subjects like interpreting statistics. I once saw her make a crowd of several hundred health care professionals act out the nursery rhyme "I'm a Little Tea Pot" to clarify a statistical concept. Pat was kind enough, on several occasions, to look at manuscripts I was working on to check whether my conclusions about the research were sound on the basis of the numbers cited. She contributed hugely to our profession, to mothers and babies, and I'm sure her students at the university were changed forever by her instruction. I'm heart sick to hear she has passed away. I wish I had known she was ill. I would have loved to tell her how I valued her. Barbara Wilson-Clay - Posted by: Barbara Wilson-Clay (colleague) on: Jan 12, 2015

  • Paul (Gary's brother) & I will miss Pat and her welcoming nature. We were included in many of their family events & meals when we were in Kleefeld. Their sharing of the bounty of their huge garden was always looked forward to. Pat was a great baker and we especially enjoyed her French bread. There was always comfort food to be had while enjoying great company. So many wonderful memories. We could always count on you to be inclusive. Thank you. We will miss you. - Posted by: Shirley Martens (Sister-in-law) on: Jan 12, 2015

  • Phone conversations and email with Pat a lot over the years. She was always very respectful of secretaries and very personable. One person I thoroughly enjoyed conversing with. I am sure she will be missed by everyone who knew her. - Posted by: Lucienne Stadnyk (Secretary to Louis Barre at Manitoba Health - Dealt with Pat a lot over the years work-wise) on: Jan 12, 2015

  • I first met Pat as a tutor in my statistics class. I was driving from Brandon to complete the statistics with my PhD from UBC and I never wanted to miss her sessions, no matter the weather! Pat was the most excellent teacher of a difficult subject that I had ever had. I have developed a relationship as a colleague over many years - and have heard her present at many conferences. It did not matter what audience she was addressing Pat was capable of making everyone understand some very difficult concepts. Through her work at MCHP she has had an impact on many sectors of society. She was a warm and generous person and she had such a wonderful impact on my development as an academic, I can only imagine what a wonderful impact she will have had on her children and grandchildren. My thoughts are with you and hope you are able to use so many excellent memories to carry you through these difficult times. - Posted by: Beverley Temple (Student and colleague) on: Jan 12, 2015

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