Cover photo for Martin Luther's Obituary
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1929 Martin 2024

Martin Luther

August 1, 1929 — March 20, 2024


Martin James Luther (94) passed away peacefully on March 20, 2024 at Madonna Towers skilled nursing facility in Rochester, MN after a long battle with dementia. Martin was born on August 1, 1929 in Yeagerstown, Mifflin Co, PA to his parents Romaine Roxie Dunlap and Ray Allen Luther. Martin's father passed away when he was 3 from a house fire. After that his mother married three more times to L.V. Kelley, Vincent Quinn and Sampson Stewart. Martin was raised throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Martin enlisted in the US Navy in 1948 and was stationed at Whiting Field, Pensacola, FL. He was honorably discharged in 1952. After his discharge he worked in the US Pentagon in Washington, DC for the Navy Department as a clerk typist. He then joined the US Air Force reserves, where he remained for three years. While working in the US Navy department, he met and fell in love with the love of his life, Rita Mae Whiteman who was from Augusta, MI. Martin and Rita were married October 29, 1955 in Alexandria, VA at St. Rita's Church. Martin and Rita had four children: Mary Joanne Tempelmeyer, Robert Wilson (Vicki Steinberg), Jeanette Ruth Daugherty (Paul), and Patricia Sue Arndt (Clayton). Martin then transferred to the US Treasury Department where he became a US Customs officer. In 1966, Martin and Rita moved the family from Virginia to Miami, Florida where Martin helped setup the US Customs office in Miami, FL. Martin remained a US Customs Officer until 1985 when he retired after 37 years of government service. While performing as a US Customs officer, Martin made creditable seizures and arrests that included illegal drugs, firearms, ammunition, aircrafts, boats and other household items used for smuggling drugs. After retirement in 1985, Martin and Rita moved from Miami, Florida to Ft. Pierce, FL. In his retirement, Martin worked as a draw bridge tender at the Fort Pierce inlet bridge and was a volunteer security driver for their Lakewood Park neighborhood. His favorite hobbies were boating, fishing and coin collecting.

In 2011, Rita fell ill while visiting her daughter Mary and ended up moving to Texas where she resided until 2015. She and Martin divorced after 58 years of marriage in 2013. Rita relocated to Minnesota in 2015 and eventually moved in with her daughter, Patty.

In August of 2020, Martin also moved to Minnesota to live with his daughter, Patty, and to be reunited with the love of his life, Rita.

Martin was preceded in death by his parents and three step-fathers; two sisters (Violet Hadia Chafardon and Rae Romaine Dolce); his grandparents Thomas William Dunlap & Rebecca Hadia Stewart and Clark William Luther & Mary Elizabeth Allen.

He is survived by his wife, four children and seven grandchildren - Joshua Wilson Luther, Jillian Faith Tempelmeyer, Scott David Arndt, Thomas Whiteman Daugherty, Andrew Martin Arndt, Stephen Johnson Daugherty, and Matthew Robert Luther.

A graveside service will be held at Fairview Cemetery in Erie Pennsylvania on April 3, 2024 at 11:00 am with a viewing at Dusckus Martin Funeral home at 10:30 am.

Martin's family would like to thank the staff of Madonna Towers skilled nursing facility and Mayo Clinic Hospice (especially Dale and Amy Jo) for the loving care they have provided.

In lieu of a funeral service, Martin asks that you have a Mass said in his memory. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Alzheimer's Foundation of America

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martin Luther, please visit our flower store.


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