Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary and Cemetery
Marta Marie Gerstenberger
Marta Marie Gerstenberger (née Martin) passed away on Thursday, December 30, 2021 after a 5-year battle with cancer. Marta was born on March 19, 1951 in Topeka, Kansas to Gene Clair and Edna Marie Martin. She attended Topeka West High School, where her love for the French language and culture began. After high school, Marta attended the University of Kansas, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Education as well as a Bachelor of Arts in French. Her time at KU was one of the highlights of her life and she was still in close contact with many of her friends from that time until the end of her life. Marta was a huge KU Basketball fan and was extremely proud to be a Jayhawk!
After graduating from KU, she attended Arizona State University to complete her Masters in Humanities. Marta married Dr. Dean Lee Gerstenberger, MD on September 6, 1975 and they began their marriage in Rochester, Minnesota. After living there, Marta decided she wanted to be in Arizona for the rest of her life! When his residency ended, they moved to Arizona and ended up in Flagstaff, where they remained for 38 years. During this time they had 4 children and Marta enjoyed being a housewife and housewife. Eventually, she started teaching English at the local Community College, then moved on to teaching French at a charter school, then tried the public schools in Flagstaff before returning to teaching at Northland Preparatory Academy.
In addition to teaching, Marta held various volunteer positions in the various Catholic churches she attended. She loved music and taught choir before she had children. She shared her love of French music and culture with her children and many students for many years. She was a lifelong learner, enjoyed hard work and high standards, and had a playful sense of humor that brought lots of laughs to her family, friends, and students.
The last years of her life were spent in Scottsdale, AZ, where Marta enjoyed warm weather, regular swimming, and time with her children and grandchildren. She considered it a blessing to have been able to see so many people, with multiple trips to France, time in Italy, Russia, Canada, England, Norway and Ireland. She was honored to have the beautiful friendships she had from her various experiences, and she was well loved by her friends and family.
Marta is survived by her loving husband, Dean Gerstenberger, and her children Blythe Donovan-Coburn (Phillip) of Edmond, Oklahoma, Brett Gerstenberger (Beth) of Overland Park, Kansas, Blake Gerstenberger (Gina), of Phoenix, Arizona , Brina Ziemann (Ben) of Phoenix, Arizona, her 5 grandchildren, Meredith and Nathan Donovan, Caden Gerstenberger, Abigail and Madeleine Ziemann, her sister, Melanie Martin (Cliff), as well as her aunts, cousins, nieces and nephew.
A Catholic Mass will be held in memory of Marta on Friday, January 28 at 10 a.m. at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to help honor Marta’s love for music and her Catholic faith by making a donation in her name to the Sainte Bernadette Organ Fund. Donations can be made by calling the office at 480-905-0221.
Mom, we love you, we are proud of you, you are important to us, have a great afterlife!
Love always, your family.
Posted on January 16, 2022
Posted in The Arizona Republic