Jan. 7, 1950 – May 9, 2019

Darla Jean Clary Martens, 69, was born on Jan. 7, 1950, in Rochester. She was loved by her sweet parents, Harvey and Annabelle Clary, and had the privilege of being raised on 6 beautiful acres in the country surrounded by her granddad’s corn and soybean fields. She loved to play in the woods with her childhood friend, Joyce, and ride her bike and ponies.

Her favorite (and only) brother Ron was so good to her. He took her water skiing, trick-or-treating and to the movies.

In fifth grade, Murro Martens moved to Rochester and he was in her class. They were friends through junior high and high school and stood by each other at high school graduation. It wasn’t until their sophomore year in college that they started dating. Murro came home from West Point and asked her out. They didn’t get to see each other often as it was a long way from New York to West Lafayette, where she attended Purdue University, studying elementary and special education.

Murro and Darla were married on July 9, 1972, in Rochester at Trinity United Methodist Church in a simple military wedding with the reception in the church basement. Their married life began while Murro spent seven years in the Army, so they lived all around the U.S. Their two sons, Kevin and Kurt, were both born at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

After getting out of the Army, Murro and Darla moved to Highland Village, Texas, with their two boys. They joined FUMC Lewisville in September 1979.

Darla enjoyed her career as a teacher. She taught in Indiana, Alabama, and Kentucky before retiring in Texas. She received her master’s degree from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. She also taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school, helped with New Hope lunches and the homeless teens program. She enjoyed volunteering in the Lewisville Independent School District after retirement. She cherished the friendships she made through the years with former students, teachers and parents.

Kevin and Kurt loved to play basketball and baseball. They spent countless hours at Lake Park and various gymnasiums as a family. After graduating from Marcus and the University of Oklahoma, Kevin married his Sooner sweetheart, Cara, and Murro and Darla got their first daughter. Kevin and Cara’s three children, Cale, Riley and Tyler filled their hearts with joy.

After Kurt graduated from Marcus and Texas A&M, he married his adorable Aggie, Kazzye. Two more Martens children, Sienna and Sage, were added to the bunch.

Grandma and PawPaw got to watch more baseball, basketball, concerts, plays, soccer and swimming. They enjoyed every minute of it. Grandkids are the best. Murro’s family was Darla’s family. All of those trips back to Indiana were priceless. One summer night they all gathered at the farm to watch a meteor shower. The kids and grandkids loved to play in the barn and go sledding behind the tractor through the snow.

Murro’s sister had all of the family wear reindeer noses one year at Christmas. She mentioned that only God “nose” how long we will all be together. One year they all wore antlers because they were so “deer.” Fun times!

Darla wanted to thank all of her prayer warriors throughout this journey. She said she could not have made it without them. She also wanted to remind everyone that cancer was only a chapter of her life, not the whole story. Cancer did not win. God wins! Her special hero was her husband, Murro. He was her rock, strength and sense of humor. (He is full of dad jokes.) God only knows how much she loves him! Darla was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2018. In the very beginning of this journey, Pastor Abril did a sermon entitled “Shine Anyway.” Darla tried to shine, but Pastor Abril reminded her that it was OK to sit in ashes also.

Darla held three very important beliefs in her heart: God is so good; Her life had been richly blessed; All of her children know Jesus. She didn’t want to leave her family, but she knows that God loves them more than she did. What a powerful love that is!

A service to celebrate Darla’s life will be 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, 2019, at First United Methodist Church, Lewisville, Texas. The family will receive friends from 1-2 p.m. prior to the service at the church. A private interment will follow on Wednesday at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be made to First United Methodist Church Kids Eat Free Program, or the New Hope Learning Center, also through the church. For online condolences, please visit www.mulkeymason.com.