Martens to tell stories of old-town living

Phyllis (Hiebert) Martens of Fresno, Calif., will be the featured speaker at the Lifelong Learning session Friday, April 4. Her theme will be ?Stories from an Old Town.?

Lifelong Learning begins at 9:45 a.m. in the Wohlge?muth Music Education Center on the Tabor College campus.

Martens will share stories from her grandmother, Helena Jungas, who lived in rural Mountain Lake, Minn., during the 1920s and 1930s. Martens spent several summers there working in the town hospital, attending a conservative Mennonite Brethren church and listening to her grandmother?s stories about old times.

From these experiences, Martens recently wrote a book titled, ?Stories from an Old Town.? During the Lifelong Learning session, she will bring characters from the book to life with the hope of triggering memories of unique people in Midwest towns.

Martens is the oldest daughter of J.N.C. and Anna Hiebert, missionaries to India, where she grew up. The family returned to the United States during World War II and lived in Reedley, Calif., for four years.

When the family returned to India, Martens went to Tabor College and graduated in 1950 with a degree in English and a minor in music. She then earned a master?s degree in English from Kansas University.

In 1955, while teaching English at Pacific Bible Institute in Fresno, Calif., she met and eventually married Elmer Martens, a seminary student from Canada.

The couple has extensively traveled abroad on church-related missions. They have four children, the youngest being daughter Karen Bartlett, who is an admissions coordinator at Tabor College in Wichita. Martens? son-in-law, Rick Bartlett, is director of theological education at TCW.

The public is invited to attend all Lifelong Learning sessions and may register at the door. Fees are $4 per session or $15 per semester, or $29 per couple. Attendees may enjoy lunch in the Tabor College cafeteria after the sessions at the discounted price of $4.

For more information, contact Connie Isaac, director,at 620-947-5964 or

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