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LaVerne Joseph Martelle


LaVerne, 87, died peacefully in his sleep at Finley Hospital in Dubuque, IA, on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Born on June 13, 1936, in Harpers Ferry, IA; to Charles Leo “Jake” Martelle and Elizabeth Lenore “Bessie” Mathias.
He married Margie Lew (Kramer) Martelle on October 16, 1954. They enjoyed their life together, hiking the Grand Canyon, Ballroom Dancing, and Cruising the Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, and the Caribbean. He enjoyed their 40+ years of vacationing in Myrtle Beach, SC, and feeding the baby ducks. He loved riding his bike around Dubuque, training for the RAGBRAI bike ride he did for over 30 years. He enjoyed fishing, including his yearly trips to Canada and Alaska and salmon fishing in Lake Michigan. He was fishing in his memory at the end of his life.
He completed his high school education through night school at Dubuque Senior High School, graduating in 1967. He took classes through the University of Dubuque, graduating in 1974 with his diploma. He worked at Meadow Gold Dairy, Dubuque Packing Company, Iowa Coaches, Inc., and John Deere Dubuque Tractor Works for many years before retiring to work part-time seasonally at H&R Block for almost 40 years as an IRS Enrolled Agent before retiring fully in 2022. They retired to Arizona and became snowbirds. They were spending their winters in Arizona and summers in Dubuque, IA.
LaVerne is survived by his four children: Dr. Guy Martelle, Cindy Martelle, Tammy Martelle, and Craig (Dr. Wendy) Martelle, J.D.; four grandchildren: Melissa (Brian) Holt, Amiee (Chad) Schoenhaar, Angela (Asfar Rizvi) Martelle, and Kyle (Sarah) Martelle; nine great-grandchildren: Cheyanne (Glenn) Hoffman, Tristan, Trent, Chad (Junior), Zachary, Makenzie, Lochlan, Maya and Zoya; one great-great-grandson, Logan; four sisters: Genevieve (Jennie) Dement, Dorothy Wilwert, Jeanne (Don) Schonhoff, Susan Martelle, and brother, Chuck (Barb) Martelle; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
LaVerne was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Margie Lew (Kramer) Martelle; his parents; four sisters: Mary “Eileen” Sutter, Marlene Miller, Sharron and Frances in infancy; two brothers, Clifton and Raymond; his in-laws: Joseph Sutter, Ira “Bill” Dement, Frank Miller, Eldon Wilwert, Gilda Schmidt Martelle, Darlene “Tyke” Frith Martelle; daughter-in-law, Kathy Martelle; and son-in-law, Robert Gurries.
The Furlong Funeral Chapel, Galena is assisting the family. A Memorial will be held on Labor Day weekend, with interment at Immaculate Conception Church, Wexford, IA. The Family requests that donations be made to the Red Lake Nation College (RLNC) in place of flowers. The Website for donations for the Chippewa College is https://www.rlnc.edu Online condolences may be left at www.furlongfuneralchapel.com