Martin "Marty" Karnes Peterman
July 25, 1943 - March 23, 2022
Martin "Marty" Karnes Peterman was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 25, 1943, to Martin Walter Peterman and Frances Eleanor Karnes.
When Marty was only 15 years old, he had a lumbar fusion and was in a body cast for the entire summer. When challenges come, either you have a great attitude or you give in to it. Marty was one who had a great attitude and persevered through the clouds and rain to find the bright sun. Marty's spirit was a brilliant one from the beginning.
Marty was a true friend and was blessed with true friends. He kept in touch his whole life with his childhood friends, Evan and John. As youth, the three of them would regularly take the train from Milwaukee to Chicago and then back to Milwaukee again. Their quest was to be able to listen to The Chicago Symphony perform live. They took this trip countless times. En route, they attended all the different museums and aquariums that Chicago had to offer. All three loved to learn and were merit scholars.
Marty attended school in Madison and studied to become an electrical engineer. Marty moved to Rochester, Minnesota to work at IBM in his young adulthood. It was here that Marty met Charlotte at a time in both of their lives when they were searching. They met while singing in a choir of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Rochester. A friend and mentor of Marty's introduced them to one another, and they quickly discovered their mutual love for music and The Minnesota Orchestra. They had both regularly attended concerts independently, and it didn't take long after meeting each other for them to decide that they would no longer attend those concerts solo, but that they would enjoy them together. They started attending the concerts together every Friday. Their relationship blossomed from these glorious weekly dates, and they were married on December 29, 1979, in Rochester, Minnesota.
Music was Marty and Charlotte's shared passion throughout their marriage. For many years, Marty and Charlotte played in the MAYO Medical Center Chamber Orchestra, he on the French horn, and she on the violin. They also played together in the Austin Symphony Orchestra. Marty started an all Brass Group called "Polished Brass" due to his great love for the French horn. Marty played with the Rochester Pops Orchestra. He knew every line of every song in Gilbert and Sullivan works. He was one of the founders of the Gilbert and Sullivan organization in Rochester. Each year a different Operetta would be performed. Many times Marty would also act on the stage while Charlotte played in the pit orchestra.
Marty was a very joyful person. He made other people happy. He was loved by everyone who met him. People would say after meeting him that they just wanted to keep talking with him because he was so interesting and fun to talk with. He'd wander off into any crowd and felt comfortable talking with anyone. People seemed to know Marty everywhere he went. People who met Marty remembered him.
In June of 2020, Marty was diagnosed with anaplastic cancer of the thyroid. Shortly after his terminal diagnosis, he began extensive treatments which included surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. When asked how he was doing after a surgery to remove his larynx, Marty wrote on a white board because he could no longer speak: "It could be worse." This sums up Marty's whole attitude. Always. Marty's spirit brightened our world.
There was a twinkle in Marty's eyes and in his eyebrows too. Even when he lost the ability to speak, he used gestures and his eyebrows and eyes to speak a whole world.
Marty loved to play golf. Growing up, he played with his father and brothers. As an adult, Marty played with Senior Leagues throughout Rochester. He especially loved golfing at Hadley Creek where he was well-known and even earned the proud title of "King of the Creek."
Marty had a million hobbies and interests. He knew Morse Code. He was building a pipe organ when that project was cut short by a house fire. Marty was also adept at building intricate train sets. He was gifted in many and varied ways. He knew every fact you'd ever want to know. Before there was Google, Marty was Charlotte's Google. He knew it all!
Marty is survived by his loving wife, Charlotte, who is beyond grateful for him and his brilliant spirit. Charlotte has had the blessing of sharing her life with Marty these past 42 years. Marty is also survived by his three younger brothers: Kevin, Eric, and Bill. Charlotte is grateful to Marty's family and friends for blessing their lives so richly over the years.
Our hearts and minds overflow with memories of musical, friendly, intelligent, generous-spirited, wonderful, magical Marty. Marty will be dearly missed on this earth. May he be received into Heaven with songs of rejoicing.
A Celebration of Marty's life will be held at 2:00 PM Saturday, May 21, 2022 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 1727 Walden Lane SW, Rochester, MN with the Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer officiating.
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