Erna Marie Martin (nee Blenkle) peacefully passed into eternal life on Saturday, December 23, 2023 at her home in Carmel, IN.

Erna was born in Des Plaines, IL to Ernest and Laura Blenkle on May 8, 1934. She was raised in the Lutheran church and led a devout life guided by the Lord’s will.  Erna graduated from Maine Township High School, where she played string bass in the dance band.

She wed her beloved Charles on April 10, 1954. They enjoyed many years of travel and loved to entertain friends and family in their home. Erna was an active “team mom” on top of taking great pride in her work at lU Dental School and Krannert Institute of Cardiology. She retired in 1995.

In addition to her greatest love Charles, Erna loved her family, pups, country music, convertibles, gardening, and birdwatching. She kept a sharp sense of humor and told it like it was through her final days.

Erna was preceded in death by her parents and stepdad Sam, son Charles Laurence “Larry” and her grandson Charles “Derrick” Gaard. She is survived by her “hon” Charles; daughters Marlene (Greg) Miller, Charlene Gaard (Billy) and Laurene (Mike) Johnson; sister, Lauretta Tice; and sister-in-law, Judy (Harry) Wilson.  She was known and loved as Grams by many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her family and friends are at peace knowing she has arrived in her heavenly home.

“So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:22)