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Marjorie Martin

Updated: Oct 27, 2023


Marjorie (Marge) Elizabeth Blaser Kerr Martin passed away in her sleep on October 19, 2023, surrounded by family at the age of 94. Marge was born August 10, 1929, to Violet Lees Blaser and Chester Blaser of Coal Valley, Illinois. She had a sister/best friend, Geraldine Vrbicek of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Marge graduated from East High School in 1947 in Des Moines. She married Millard Lee (ML) Kerr from North High School, her childhood sweetheart. Together they had 7 children, Linda Allen Spain (Dan), Sandra Morris (Tom), Michael Kerr (Joni), Steven Kerr (Rebecca), Amy Sue Kerr, Shari Leo (Pete), Jeri Schrimper (Mike), all 6 of children graduated from Valley High School in West Des Moines. She later married Robert Martin of the Detroit Tigers and later General Manager of the Iowa Oaks.

Marge was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, her daughter, Amy Sue and most recently her sister Geraldine Vrbicek, and son Steven Kerr after a courageous battle with cancer, and a great granddaughter Abbigail Morris, who was gone too soon.

Marge was an active charter member of Covenant Presbyterian church in West Des Moines. Where she and her husband ML raised their family. She became troop leaders, church club member, school volunteer and Valley March Masters chaperon. Marge had a tight group of friends since elementary school who met regularly.

As Marge’s family chauffeuring duties to schools, at Holiday baseball and swimming pool, and kids’ jobs at all hours ended she went back to work. She enjoyed her time at Travelers Life Insurance and Brandeis/Younkers until retirement.

Marge and ML traveled the world with his insurance companies. The entire family would also load into the car to travel the States. Are we there yet? Marge would learn the life story of every waitress and gas station attendant. She also went to work at Walmart in North Port. She loved it when family and friends visited to see the sights, enjoy shelling, and shark tooth competitions. Her home was always welcoming and soothing to all. After almost 20 years of walking beaches, Marge returned to live in Des Moines with Shari and Pete Leo, whose home was also the gathering/vacation destination for family.

Music was always Marge’s big love, from dance lessons with her sister and later being w/friends around their player piano. She sang every kind of song for any reason to her kids. She watched musical movies and specials and loved her Lawrence Welk on TV. She also loved live shows and concerts from the civic center and her grandson Nick Leo’s music performances. She went to concerts from John Denver to recently Glenn Miller and Willie Nelson with her daughters.

Marge lovingly had 7 children, 15 grandchildren, and 28 great grandchildren and surrounded herself with all their pictures. All who even briefly met her couldn’t help loving her. Her laughter and bright smile drew everyone to her.

A visitation will take place at 11 AM at Merle Hay Chapel in Des Moines on November 3rd. A service will be held at 12PM followed by a luncheon.

Any memorial contributions can be made at a pet charity of your choice.


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