Thursday, June 13, 2024

Dora Imojean Martensen


Dora Imojean Martensen, 89, a longtime resident of Leavenworth, Washington passed away with family by her side on April 26, 2024.  Imojean was born on October 26, 1934 in Dandridge, Tennessee to Bernard and Zelma Parton.  Their family, including brothers Hugh and Roy Lee, and sister Irene, made their way from Tennessee to Leavenworth, settling there when Imojean was in 2nd grade. 

Imojean had a wonderful childhood in Leavenworth, spending lots of time with her siblings and an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins who also settled in town.  She was very active in her high school years including being a cheerleader, Homecoming Queen, Ski Royalty, and Princess Leavenworth.  Smart, talented, funny, and kind she had many childhood friends, most of whom she was close to throughout her life.

After meeting in high school, Imojean married Richard Martensen in 1953 in Leavenworth.  Together they had three children; Rhonda, Doug and Vicki.  Imojean set an amazing example of a working mother who raised three active children while Dick often worked out of town.  How she kept up with her lively kids during those years while working was a testament to her strength. 

Imojean had countless friends during her life.  In her child-rearing years, many friends gathered in each other’s homes for their regular meetings of the Body Beautiful ladies.  These women were a constant in Imojean’s life, sharing many laughs while gathering strength and wisdom from one another.  

Imojean was proud to have had a 34 year career at the Chelan County PUD in the Leavenworth office working with customers and corralling the always entertaining men who worked with her. As one of her managers said about his work with her, “She ran the whole outfit; we called her Boss.”  Imojean retired in 1997.

Imojean volunteered in Leavenworth for many years, most notably for Cascade Medical Center where she was the coordinator for the Sunshine Ladies, who donated time to mail the newsletter and assist with special projects throughout the facility. Imojean also volunteered at the Leavenworth Echo and other organizations.   She was also active in Jaycee Wives, Tamarack Women's Club, and others. 

Imojean found great love later in life with Bud Kelley, also from Leavenworth, and together they spent many years with each other focusing on their love for their families and each other, completing projects around their homes and traveling a bit.  Imojean reminisced in her last days about Bud, sharing that he was so wonderful to her, always putting her first, and that he referred to her as his ‘special lady’. She said she was blessed to have Bud’s children and their families in her life, bringing laughter and love to Imojean and her own family.  Imojean shared that the worst day of her life was losing Bud, who passed away in 2011.

Imojean was the sweetest, most caring person many have had the pleasure of knowing and loving. She never met a person she didn’t like, and always asked details of their lives when visiting with them, even during her last days.  She treasured her friends throughout the years, having coffee regularly with a wonderful group of ladies.  The pandemic halted those gatherings, leaving Imojean to spend time only with close family in her home, a home she was so proud of. 

Imojean raised her children to be strong and kind; she was always the role model.  She never criticized them in adulthood nor offered advice that wasn’t asked for. Her children have been the luckiest kids in the world to have had such an amazing mother.

Imojean was preceded in death by her mother Zelma Parton and father Bernard Parton; brothers Hugh Parton and Roy Lee Parton, and sister Irene Housden.  She also lost her love Bud Kelley.  She is survived by her children Rhonda (John) Betz, Doug (Edna) Martensen, and Vicki (Tim) Trainor; grandchildren Chase, Rand and Sydni; Josh, Brianna and Santana; Bailey and Taylor; and great-grandchildren Andre and Aurora.

The family would like to thank those who cared for her recently at Cascade Medical Center Hospital, Mountain Meadows, and especially Dr. Jerome and Dr. Lodhi who, over the years, spent extra time being kind, gentle, and direct while caring for her.  A graveside service will be held Friday, May 24th at 11:00 at Mountain View Cemetery in Leavenworth followed by a celebration of her life with the family at her home.  The family asks that if inclined, donations to a charitable organization would mean so much to Imojean.