The former Martha Elizabeth Kettler was born Aug. 11, 1918, at Slater, Mo., the daughter of Henry J. and Anna Louise (Bader) Kettler. She grew up in Slater and graduated from Slater High School.
She attended the University of Missouri in Columbia and received her degree as a registered nurse from St. Mary's School of Nursing in Kansas City, Mo.
She then worked at Wabash Hospital in Moberly, Mo., for a short time prior to joining the U.S. Navy. While serving with the Navy, Martha was stationed at Richmond, Va., Pensacola, Fla., San Diego, Calif., Corona, Calif., and Honolulu, Hawaii. While stationed in Corona, she met her future husband Dennis. She achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander before her honorable discharge.
Martha Kettler married Dennis J. Lenihan Sept. 7, 1949, in Newport, R.I. Following their marriage the couple moved back and lived their entire married lives in Le Mars.
From 1961 to 1978 Martha was employed as a registered nurse with the Akron Hospital in Akron.
Her husband Dennis J. Lenihan, Sr. died Jan. 21, 1996.
Martha was a member of St. James Catholic Church, the church Guild, and was a lifetime member of the American Legion, Wasmer Post #241.
Survivors include her three children: Brigid Demand and her husband, Dana of Sandy Hook, Conn., Dennis Lenihan, Jr. of Le Mars, and Michael Lenihan and his wife, Gayle of Tucson, Ariz.; six grandchildren: Steven Demand, Martha Demand, Sarah Demand, Philip Demand and his wife, Stella, Kerri Lenihan and Brenna Lenihan; a great-granddaughter, Eve Demand; and a sister, Anna Louise Claypool of Tifton Falls, N.J.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Dennis J. Lenihan, Sr.; a brother, Herbert Kettler; and a sister, Helen Kettler.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars. The Rev. Matt Hewitt will celebrate. Burial with military rites conducted by the Wasmer American Legion Post #241 of Le Mars will follow in Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation with the family present will be after 3 p.m. Thursday, with a parish rosary at 4 p.m., and a scriptural prayer service at 7 p.m., all at Carlsen-Feuerstein Funeral Home in Le Mars. Visitation will resume 1 hour prior the service on Friday at the church.
Pallbearers will be Dennis Lenihan, Jr., Michael Lenihan, Stephen Demand, Phil Demand, Dana Demand and Tom Susemihl.
Expressions of sympathy can extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.