A. Frances Martinsen, 91, of Lenexa, Kansas passed away on Sunday, August 1, 2021 at the Kansas City Hospice House. She was known by many names and descriptions-Fran, Mom, Grammie, Aunt, Sister, Friend, Volunteer, School Nurse, but never by her given first name, by her choice.
Fran was born in Emmetsburg, Iowa on July 17,1930 to O.W. and Bertha Myers. The youngest of 2 children, she was raised in Ruthven, Iowa. Following her high school graduation, she moved to Minneapolis, MN for nurse’s training at Fairview Hospital. She remained in Minneapolis working as an OB/GYN nurse after graduation.
Fran met her future husband, Arnie Martinsen, through a friend from nursing school. They were married on August 25, 1951. While they lived in Minneapolis and Bloomington, MN, their 2 children were born. Fran continued working as a hospital nurse, while the children were young. She worked weekends and Arnie was in charge of the kids. Lots of adventures ensued. Once Peter and Patty started school, Fran started working as a school nurse. She realized that school nursing was her calling.
A career change for Arnie meant that the family moved to Prairie Village, Kansas in 1963. Fran started working as a school nurse the following year. She continued her school nurse career in the Shawnee Mission School District until her retirement. She was a mentor to many nursing students looking to become a school nurse. She continued as a lifelong learner by obtaining her Master’s degree in Health Education.
Fran was also a dedicated volunteer in a variety of areas throughout her life. She volunteered at their church in many capacities and was a Girl Scout Leader (who went on campouts even though camping was one of her least favorite activities). She and Arnie spent countless hours volunteering for the American Cancer Society and Kansas City Hospice. Her dedication to volunteering was remarkable.
Fran and Arnie loved traveling. They especially treasured the trips they took to England to visit Peter and his family, Geraldine and Abigail.
Fran was happiest when she was spending time with family and friends. Whether the activity was bridge club, golfing, dinner parties, family dinners, game nights with kids, making lefse, traveling or attending the theater, Fran’s infectious laugh could be heard by all.
When Peter passed away in 2001 at the North London Hospice, Fran saw firsthand, the care and comfort provided for patients and families in a dedicated hospice setting. As a member of the KC Hospice Board, she was inspired to present the idea to the president of KC Hospice and fellow board members. She believed the KC community could benefit from a freestanding hospice building. After 5 years of planning, fundraising and construction, the KC Hospice House became a reality that continues 15 years later.
Fran is predeceased by:
Husband, Arnie Martinsen; Son, Peter Martinsen; Brother, Bill Myers; Sister-in-law, Nancy Myers
Fran is survived by:
Daughter, Patty (Gary) Dykman, daughter-in-law, Geraldine Martinsen
Grandchildren, Molly (Andrew) Wilson, Benjamin (Nicole) Dykman, Abigail Martinsen
Great Grandchildren, Thomas and Parker Dykman, Alice Wilson
Sister-in-law, Ruth Reppe and numerous nieces and nephews
A private family graveside service will be held on Friday, August 6.
The family plans a celebration of Fran’s life service in the fall.
Memorials may be made to KC Hospice House , 12000 Wornall Road; KC,MO 64145 or a charity of your choice.