OBITUARY: Donna M. Bontrager

Donna Martin

Donna M. Bontrager Martin of Hesston, KS died February 2, 2024, after an 11-month journey with cancer. Donna was born on May 22, 1939, to Jerry J. and Edna Bontrager, the youngest of four children. She grew up on their family farm near Yoder, KS. Donna attended Haven High School for two years, graduated from Hesston Academy and attended Hesston College for one year. At the Academy, she met the love of her life, Larry Martin, and married in December 1957. They farmed together in Minot, ND for 38 years and raised three children.

Donna was active in her church, singing duets with Larry and served as Sunday School superintendent. Donna worked with Stonecroft Ministries for 20 years, as area representative and also shared her faith story at Christian Women’s Club events in the North Central region and several Canadian provinces.

In 1987, intrigued by the art of trapunto, Donna created greeting cards and then framed art. From a fun hobby emerged a thriving business, Memories by Donna. After she and Larry moved to Hesston, KS in 1995, Larry framed her art and they traveled together to many craft shows in the U.S. Donna loved her family, friends, flowers, decorating and sharing her peanut brittle. Donna’s bright light and laughter will be deeply missed.

Donna is survived by daughter Torrie Martin, grandson Holden Brubaker and partner Alisha Alomia, Lancaster, PA; son Kendall Martin and daughter-in-law Deborah (Maust) Martin, Dousman, WI; son Kirby and daughter-in-law Darcie (Messerli) Martin, Hesston, KS, grandson Chase and wife Jordan Martin, great granddaughter, Isabelle, Ft. Worth, TX, and grandson Brock Martin, Topeka, KS. Donna is survived by her sister Grace Hershberger, Goshen, IN, sister Lola Faye and brother-in-law Bob Yoder, Wellman, IA, sister-in-law Carol Bontrager, Hutchinson, KS and many beloved nieces and nephews. Donna was predeceased by her parents, husband Larry, an infant brother Glen, brother Ray Bontrager, Hutchinson, KS, as well as brothers-in-law John Hershberger and Lowell Erb.

Donna is also survived by sisters-in-law Gladene Bontrager and Dorothy Zook, Hesston, KS, brother-in-law Delvin Martin, Glendale, AZ, brother-in-law Kermit Martin and sister-in-law Patricia Martin, Fresno, CA. Donna is predeceased by brothers-in-law Roy Martin, Glade Martin, and Marlin Bontrager, sisters-in-law Alice Martin and Margaret Martin and nephews Chad Martin and Troy Martin.

To celebrate Donna’s life, a visitation time with family will be held Friday, February 23, 6:30-8:00 p.m. and a memorial service Saturday, February 24 at 11:00 a.m. at Hesston Mennonite Church, 309 S. Main Street, Hesston, KS. The service will be live streamed at

Mail may be sent to Kirby and Darcie Martin, 9 Park View Rd, Hesston, KS 67062 and condolences posted at Baker Funeral Home: If considering a memorial, gifts may be sent to the Larry and Donna Martin Nursing Scholarship, Hesston College, PO Box 3000, Hesston, KS 67062; Bethesda Home, PO Box 37, Goessel, KS 67053; Good Shepherd Hospice Foundation, 301 N Main St, Suite 300, Newton, KS 67114. Donna’s family expresses their deep gratitude for the exceptional care she received from her caregivers at Bethesda Home and caregivers from Good Shepherd Hospice.



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