MISSOULA — Greg passed away peacefully in his home on May 25, 2019 at the age of 70, in the presence of his beloved daughter and his brothers and sister. He fought a courageous battle against cancer. He was born on Aug. 9, 1948 in Missoula to Aliston and Bettie Martinsen. The oldest of four, he was raised in the Orchard Homes area and went to school at Hawthorne and Emma Dickinson Elementary schools. Greg graduated from Sentinel High School in 1966. He attended Montana State University in Bozeman. Greg served in the United States Army National Guard for six years and was Honorably Discharged.
Greg worked hard his entire life. When he was a kid he would ride his bike out to Hughs’ Gardens in Hellgate Canyon to hoe crops. He worked at Marchie’s Nursery, delivering firewood and cutting Christmas trees, and enjoyed helping his parents build houses and develop land in Missoula and Seeley Lake. When he was 14 his father loaned him out to a Land Surveyor working in the Seeley Lake area. He must have liked it because he stuck with it and became a Registered Land Surveyor. At the age of 16, Greg became the youngest Licensed Land Surveyor in training in the state of Montana, and a Licensed Professional Land Surveyor in 1973. He started his own business, Martinsen Surveys, in 1977, which he operated with immense dedication until the day he passed. In 1974, at the age of 26, Greg became the 279th member of the Montana Association of Registered Land Surveyors (MARLS). Greg served as President of MARLS, as well as serving many other positions at the state and chapter level, and was awarded a Fellow membership by MARLS in 2008. MARLS will be placing a “Final Point Marker” in memory of Greg and his dedication to the surveying profession at a later date. Greg was very well known and highly respected in his career for his wealth of knowledge and strong work ethic. For some time, he was a co-owner of the Team Electronics (Spectrum) Store in Missoula.
On Aug. 7, 1977, Greg married Donna Keniston. Their daughter Jennifer Alice was born in September of 1980. He treasured and cherished Jennifer for every moment of the rest of his life. He and Donna were later divorced but remained friends until she passed in June 2018.
Greg had many friends. When he was younger, he was part of a gang of renegade SCUBA divers and other friends who were involved with a houseboat known as The Fudpucker at Flathead Lake. They had many stories of their shenanigans. Greg, Donna, and Jennifer enjoyed camping at Flathead Lake in the summer and spending the days on the deck boat cruising the lake. They went camping with Greg and Donna’s brothers and sisters and other friends and family. Greg and Donna took many trips with Jennifer in the truck camper to Yellowstone and Glacier, but the best memories were made at Flathead. Family was very important to Greg and Donna, and they created many special memories together with Jennifer during those camping trips. Years ago, he bought a cabin at Fish Creek and it became his favorite hangout. He built a water system and solar power supply and made it into a really cool place. He and the rest of the Fish Creek bunch had a lot of good times. He was blessed with many wonderful friends there. He loved the peaceful evenings at the cabin with his dog Buster. Greg was most happy at the cabin where there was no internet, no cell phones, and people had real conversations with each other. He had another whole set of good friends in Salome, Arizona where he owned a place that he traveled to in his motor home each winter for the past several years. Each summer for the last several years he took fishing trips to Ketchikan and Kodiak, Alaska, where there was yet another group of friends and memories made.
Greg’s grandson, Devin was born in 2001, and his granddaughter Nadelie, was born in 2005. His grandchildren were his pride and joy. Greg loved telling all of his friends about the adventures he and Devin had at Fish Creek. They spent countless weekends together at the cabin and Greg would teach Devin the importance of hard work, as well as the joy that the outdoors can bring to a person’s soul. Greg attended every one of Nadelie’s dance recitals and orchestra concerts, and he enjoyed every one of them. Devin and Nadelie made many memories with Papa Greg, and loved and looked up to him.
Greg was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his daughter Jennifer Taylor, grandson Devin Taylor, granddaughter Nadelie Taylor, brother Hugh Martinsen (Christine), brother Philip Martinsen (Clare Delaney) and sister Alison Livingston (Donald). He is also survived by several nieces and nephews, cousins and an uncle.
We would like to acknowledge and thank the people at Providence Saint Patrick Hospital and the Montana Cancer Center, who helped Greg in his years-long fight. We would also like to thank Partners Hospice and Case Management Caregiving for the outstanding service they provided during Greg’s final days. You all became his friends and he truly appreciated your care and compassion.
Greg was a strong man that was never heard to complain. His positivity and resilience were truly admirable. He will continue to be loved and will be missed by many.
Per Greg’s request, a formal memorial service will not be held, but instead, a party in his honor. Please join us on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at 3 p.m. at the Orchard Homes Country Life Club, 2537 S 3rd Street West, to celebrate Greg’s life.