Dr. Walter Frederick Martens

January 2, 1938October 28, 2018

Dr. Walter Frederick Martens, age 80, of Hoover, Alabama, departed this earthly world on Sunday, October 28, 2018.

Dr. Martens was born January 2, 1938 in Orange, NJ, the son of German immigrant parents, Walter Albert Frederick Martens and Margaret Muller. His parents, two sisters, Susan Annemarie Lankanau, and Eleanor Ruth Whittemore, and one brother, Robert William, preceded him in death, marking Sunday as the end of a family generation. He grew up in Greensboro, NC and graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, having attended on a Navy ROTC scholarship.

Upon receiving a commission in the US Navy, Fred served on the Navy Destroyer, USS Vesole. During that time he met and married Ella Louise (Eloise) Powell of Virginia Beach,Virginia. Fred’s Navy days were fondly remembered. He and Eloise regularly attended annual reunions with former shipmates.

Following his Navy service, Fred returned to his alma mater, Georgia Tech, and earned a PhD in Mathematics. In 1971, he accepted a teaching position in the Math Department at UAB. He retired as Assistant Chairman of that department in 2001.

He was a member of Independent Presbyterian Church, and was formerly an Elder, Trustee, Treasurer, and choir member of Oakmont Presbyterian Church in Hoover. He was a long-serving committee member of BSA Troop 93, and he volunteered on Habitat for Humanity projects and as an AARP tax consultant following his retirement.

As both a trained engineer and mathematician, Fred built his life around scholarship and craftsmanship, devoting his mind, his hands and his time to many endeavors, including the Boy Scouts, soccer coaching, church and neighborhood building projects, furniture crafting and gourmet cooking. His handcrafted creations have become cherished family heirlooms and his cooking skills were legendary. He and Eloise have been part of a monthly supper club, the “Gourmet Group,” which has remained active for more than 40 years. A devoted family man, Fred gave countless hours as a volunteer and cheerleader in support of his children’s and grandchildren’s many activities. He also loved traveling, and did so extensively. The young Martens family explored much of the US in a pop-up camper, blessing his family with lifetime memories and tales of misadventure that have become legends. In later years, he and Eloise continued to travel world-wide until just before his death.

Dr. Martens is survived by his wife of 58 years, Eloise, his daughter, Karen Elaine Fischer (Timothy Paul, “Tim”) of Atlanta Georgia, his son, Walter Keith Martens (Helen Brett Rutledge) of Rock Hill, SC, and his niece Rebecca Lynn Whittemore Poteet (James Roy, deceased) of Austin, Texas, who was welcomed into the family at a young age, after her mother’s death. Grandchildren include: Bradley Mason Fischer, Shannon Taylor Fischer, Robyn Nicole Fischer, Hallie Virginia Martens, Abigail Louise Martens, Jacob Holladay Poteet, Lore Elizabeth Poteet, David James Poteet, Brian Nathaniel Poteet, and Claire Abigail Poteet. Surviving niece and nephews are Sandra Diane (Fischel) Abel, Jeffrey Clinton Fischel, Robert Martin Fischel, and Eric Brian Whittemore.

Burial will be Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 at 11 AM, Alabama National Cemetery, Montevallo, Alabama, with a memorial service at Independent Presbyterian Church Chapel, Birmingham, AL at 2 PM the same day. The family suggests that memorials may be made to the Boy Scouts of America, Independent Presbyterian Church or the Georgia Tech Alumni Association


  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Independent Presbyterian Church
  • Georgeia Tech Alumni Association


  • Graveside Service Friday, November 2, 2018
  • Memorial Service Friday, November 2, 2018

Dr. Walter Frederick Martens

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