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1933 Dr. Benjamin 2024

Dr. Benjamin Martin

August 29, 1933 — March 30, 2024

Dr. Benjamin Martin, 90, of Lincoln, NE formerly of Pender, NE passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 30, 2024, at his home surrounded by his family in Lincoln, NE.  The visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, 2024, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Pender with a family sharing of memories and a Rosary starting at 7:00 p.m.  The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 5, 2024, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Pender. Burial with Military Honors will be in Rosehill Cemetery in Pender.  The lunch will follow at the Pender Community Center in Pender.  Those who wish to remember Dr. Martin in a special way may make gifts in his memory to Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Catholic Charities, the organization through which Ben and Ginger were able to adopt four of their children, or a cause close to Ben’s heart - ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender, NE.  

To order flowers or gifts, please contact Puckett Florist in Pender at (402) 385-3388.

He was born on August 29, 1933, in Beemer, Nebraska; the son of Lorin and Emma (Hoefs) Martin. He was the second of six children. He grew up on a farm, enjoyed playing sports and music, and loved to read. He attributed his love for education to his paternal grandmother - although she only achieved a third-grade education, she taught herself to read and became a librarian. She regularly brought him library books. He knew by the age of 12 that he wanted to study medicine. Ben graduated high school at age 16 and started college at Wayne State thereafter. In 1953, he was drafted into the Army but just before he left, he met his future wife Regina “Ginger” at a dance at King’s Ballroom in Norfolk. In high school, his typing teacher taught him to dance the two-step and waltz, which served him well when he swept Ginger off her feet that night. 

Ben and Ginger dated only three weeks before he had to go into the service. They wrote letters weekly and dated regularly when he would come home on furlough. He served two years in the army and upon his return finished his undergraduate education and received acceptance to medical school.  Ben and Ginger married on January 28, 1956. Soon after, they began to grow their family as Ben progressed through medical school. Ginger was a steadfast supporter of his dreams. In 1960 Ben graduated medical school; he practiced in Crawford, Nebraska, before ultimately settling in Pender, Nebraska, where he and Ginger built their home and raised their children. After their seventh child was stillborn, they were blessed with the adoption of four children. Ben described fondly in his writings that he enjoyed watching his children grow, going to their sporting events, going on vacation and family fishing trips, good times with friends, and more. 

He touched many lives in his 62 years as a physician. He was Medical Director for the Pender Hospital for over 30 years. He served patients in Crawford, Pender, Beemer, and surrounding communities. He spent the last decade of his career practicing with his son Dr. Michael Martin in Lincoln. He cared for every patient with such dignity and respect no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, status, etc. He served on medical boards, the school board, the church board, and in other esteemed positions. In 1999, he was honored as the Nebraska Physician of the Year and also Pender Businessman of the Year. Among his many accomplishments as a physician, Ben had a soft spot for babies and proudly delivered 2,000 of them throughout his career.

Ben and Ginger were married for nearly 66 years and in addition to their 11 children, they were blessed with 37 grandchildren, and 46 great-grandchildren with more on the way. Throughout their lifetime they had many pets. His dogs Lexi and Sammie could regularly be found by his side in recent years. Dr. Martin was a resident of Crete, Nebraska, from 2011 to 2023; a resident of Lincoln from 2023 through his passing. He was a member of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Denton, Nebraska.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Lorin and Emma Martin; two siblings, Gene Martin, and Marian Dennis; two siblings-in-law,  Warren Dennis, and Bill Cohee; two children, daughter, Mary Martin and son, Dr. James “Jim” Martin; and the love of his life, Regina "Ginger" Martin.

He is survived by three siblings, Dennis (Julie) Martin, Susie Cohee, Gayle (Norbert) Holtz; sister-in-law, Irene Martin; children Kim (Bill) Benson, Jeff (Donna) Martin, Steve (Simone) Martin, Jeanne Martin, Mike (Viann) Martin, Shannon (Doug) Carroll, Joni Duncan, Julie (Pat) Melena, Jill (Chris) Bessmer; daughter-in-law, Jill Ruskamp (Randy); 37 grandchildren and their spouses; and 46 great-grandchildren. Countless friends, patients, and community members also mourn his loss.

In a writing he completed at the age of 84, he said: “To my family, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, I hope you all enjoy life as much as I have. A few things to keep in mind as far as considerations are concerned: [maintain a] healthy lifestyle. Honor God, Family, and Country. I think a human being cannot do without love… I wish for my family to love one another, get along with each other, be understanding [and] considerate. Be careful what you say or put down in words because it is truly difficult to take back. One of my personal philosophies in life is basically ‘Do the work you enjoy and work as long as you want to.’ Stay active in life - exercise your body, exercise your mind, all of your life. We are fortunate to be born in America… fortunate to have Christian parents and a Christian base. We are lucky to have a family that cares about us. Remember God, Family, and Country. Exercise tolerance. Love our Children.”

In memory of Dr. Benjamin Martin, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:


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