Neva Martin, 99, Charles City

Neva Martin, 99, of Charles City, passed away Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at the 9th Street Chautauqua Guest Home in Charles City.

A funeral Mass for Neva Martin will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 24, 2018 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Charles City with Reverend Gary Mayer celebrating the Mass. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Charles City.

Visitation will be one hour before the funeral Mass at the church on Monday.

Neva was born the second of three daughters to Carl and Clara (Smith) Reis on April 7, 1919 on a farm near Roseville, Iowa.  The family moved to Charles City in 1925, where Neva and her sisters Thelma, the eldest, and Donna, the youngest, all attended school at the Immaculate Conception Academy.

In 1934, Neva met and began dating a young, shy Western Union messenger boy named Jim Martin, and eventually the two of them started to date one another exclusively through the remainder of Neva’s high school years.  In 1937, she graduated from IC, taking a job in the mailroom of Dr. Salsbury Laboratories. Jim, who was working at the Oliver Corporation at that time, proposed to her in 1938, and on August 12, 1939, they were joined in marriage at Immaculate Conception Church in Charles City.

In 1943, Jim enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was accepted into the Aviation Cadet program.  It was during this time that Neva discovered that she was pregnant with their first child, David.  After moving to and from various air bases to be near Jim, Neva finally decided that she and “Davey” would move back to Charles City to live with her mother and father, staying with them for the remainder of the war years.

Following the war, and during their subsequent 69 years of marriage, Neva and Jim raised a family initially comprised of four sons: David, Robert, Richard, and William, which they dubbed the “first family.” Following some years later was a “second family” comprised of Stephen, Kathleen (who was the answer to Neva’s long held wish for a girl), and lastly by another boy they named Thomas.

Neva early on had to give up the notion of working for a paycheck, instead she devoted herself to a different kind of work, namely doing all of the household cooking, cleaning, sewing, and washing, not to mention meeting the everyday needs of their young and growing family.

Neva possessed an artistic eye, decorating the family home with many different types of knickknacks, pictures and arrangements.  She also enjoyed listening to music, reading, working jigsaw puzzles with Jim, doing her crossword puzzles, and tending to her incredible collection of houseplants.  During the spring through the fall months she could always be found out in her perennial and vegetable gardens weeding the beds.  In the winter, she kept herself busy tending to her houseplant collection, a labor of love that lasted for the remainder of her life.

In addition to these activities, Neva also played a mean game of Scrabble, playing daily with Jim until his passing in 2009, and then taking on family members whenever they came for visits.

Surviving family members include Robert Martin (Janice Grant) of Oregon, Wisconsin; William (Linda) Martin of San Angelo, Texas; Kathleen (dec. David) Schultz of Des Moines, Iowa; Thomas (Kolleen) Martin of Charles City, Iowa; Jan Kittleson (wife of David Martin) of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Sandra Martin (wife of Richard) of Earlham, Iowa; Jeri Martin (wife of Steven) of Piedmont, South Carolina; 15 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; nieces: Deborah Dryden of Ventura, California; Christie Whalen of South Sioux City, NB; nephews: Bob Guthrie Jr. of La Mesa, California; and Bernie Glienke of San Jose, California.

Preceding Neva in death were her husband, Jim; sons: David, Richard, and Steven; son-in-law, David Schultz; her parents, Carl and Clara Reis; and two sisters: Thelma Glienke and Donna Guthrie.

Hauser Funeral Home, (641) 228-2323, in Charles City, is in charge of local arrangements.  Online condolences may be left for the family at


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Chris Berg

Chris was born in Webster City and raised in Charles City. As a young kid, he would always be caught singing along to songs on the radio. He says he's good at karaoke but we think otherwise. ;) In his free time, he enjoys beginning new projects at home and hardly ever finishing them. Chris lives in Charles City with his wife Vicki, daughter Brynlee and son Jaxon.
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