Charlie A. Martinson
Charlie A. Martinson
  • September 15, 1934 - July 13, 2017
  • Ames, Iowa

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Charlie A. Martinson, 82, passed away Thursday, July 13, 2017, at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, Iowa. Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Monday, July 17, 2017, at Stevens Memorial Chapel (607 28th St. Ames, IA). A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at Memorial Lutheran Church (2228 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA). Private family services will be at the Iowa State University Cemetery.

Charlie Anton Martinson was born September 15, 1934, in Orchard, Colorado to George and Bertha Martinson. He grew up on the family farm outside of LaSalle Colorado, graduating from College High in Greeley Colorado. Charlie received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from Colorado State University, where he was also a track athlete and member of Acacia Fraternity. On June 9, 1957, Charlie married Kathryn Ann Reichert in Greeley, Colorado. Charlie earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Pathology from Oregon State University. He served on the faculty at Cornell University, Ithaca New York, prior to joining the Plant Pathology faculty at Iowa State University. He also served in the Army and Army Reserves.

In his time with Iowa State University, Charlie received many distinguished honors, including being named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a past president and Fellow of the Iowa Academy of Science. He also is a past president and received the Award of Merit of the North Central Division of the American Phytopathological Society. Charlie consulted and taught nationally and internationally on corn pathology issues, including visiting Costa Rica, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Peru, Antigua, Zambia, and other countries. Charlie retired as an Associate Professor from Iowa State after 33 years of service and having the privilege of supporting 40 graduate students.

Charlie was a member of Memorial Lutheran Church in Ames. He enjoyed attending ISU basketball and volleyball games, his grandchildren's events, and playing cards with friends and family.

Charlie is survived by his wife, Kathryn; brother, Myron Martinson of Greeley, Colorado; children, Jerry Martinson of Ames, Iowa, Karen (Gary) Zunkel of Ames, Iowa, Nancy Martinson of Huntsville, Alabama, and Brian Martinson of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and two grandsons, Paul and Jacob Zunkel. Charlie is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Marvin Martinson; and sister, Mildred Newgren.

Online condolences and memories may be shared on Charlie's page at

Memorial gifts may be sent to the Iowa Academy of Science (BRC 50, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0508), Memorial Lutheran Church in Ames, or the MGMC Israel Family Hospice House in Ames.