Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Patricia Martinek (Castor)

May 16, 1928 - May 2, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI



Saturday, May 5, 2018
10:30 AM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263

Friends may visit with the family from 9:30 AM until the time of the service. Additional time will be immediately following the service during a luncheon.

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Life Story / Obituary


With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Patricia L. (Castor) Martinek was a blessing in the lives of everyone she met. She was a woman of faith who lived to serve others in her family, her friends, and her church community. Patricia was content in all things, and when trials came her way she faced them with both grace and courage that were such an inspiration. Although she took her roles as a wife and mother to heart, she just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother later in life. Life will never be the same without Patricia here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

The 1920s were an exciting time in American history when prosperity was largely felt nationwide. Radios, washing machines, and refrigerators made life easier for the average family while cars were finally more affordable as they were mass produced on assembly lines nationwide. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Wayne and Luella (Johnson) Ford as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the beauty of spring unfolded in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in May of 1928. Their wait was finally over on May 16th when the baby girl they named Patrica Louise made her arrival. She was one of two children as she was joined in her family by her sister, Doris. Because Doris was nine years older than Patricia, Doris played a significant role in raising Patricia. They became best friends and also lifelong companions.

Raised in the family home on the South side of Grand Rapids, Patricia was a young girl of her generation. She and her parents did a fair amount of camping at places like Croton, Oxbow Pond in Newaygo, and Baldwin. Patricia attended local schools, and after graduating from South High School she attended David Tech for a time. She also worked at Steketee's, like her mother.

New and exciting changes were in store for Patricia when she met a young man named Carl Castor through some mutual friends. They began dating and later fell in love. With a desire to establish a life together Patrica and Carl were married in April of 1946. They initially lived on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids, but they later moved to a home on Alewa, which is where they raised their four boys, Scott, Gary, Mark, and, Todd. Patricia was an active part of her boys’ lives, and she remained home so she was there to care for her family. Having boys, she made sure she knew how to get their attention and didn’t shy away from sharing her opinion. Her home was always extremely neat and organized, and it has been said that Patricia was very particular. She volunteered at school with the PTA and Boosters as well as at their dances and also at church. Patrica was known to have a spunky side that could even make her a bit feisty at times. They lived close to her sister, so their families spent a lot of time together. In 1977, Patricia was deeply saddened with the death of her husband, Carl. Soon after, she found work in the corporate office for Meijer.

Brighter days were on the horizon for Patricia when she found love again. His name was George Martinek, and he was a widower. George pursued Patricia for several years, and she finally said yes to a date. In 1990, they were married in Arizona.

Throughout Patricia’s life, her faith played a vital role. When her children were young they attended Valley Avenue United Methodist church. Later, Patricia attended Faith UMC, then 2nd Baptist Church, and for the past 20 years she had been engaged at Grace Community Church

At church, her favorite thing was to work with children in the nursery. This was really her gift, and it brought Patricia a great deal of joy.

Over the years, Patricia had several hobbies. She did ceramics for several years, and she also liked playing Bridge. She was even part of a Bridge club that met a couple of times a month. Patricia loved square dancing, and she also enjoyed senior exercise classes as she got older. Patricia was so proud that she was still able to bend over and touch her toes! Senior bus trips were another favorite, and in everything she did she took plenty of pictures. Everyone knew that if they stopped by her house, it was hard to leave without looking through albums first. Patricia loved being a grandmother and a great-grandmother, too. She especially loved the young children, but even as they grew older they were still a great source of pride and joy. Patricia was available to babysit when needed, and she looked forward to holidays when the family was able to be together. It was such a special time, which called for her best dishes. Easter found Patricia organizing the Easter egg hunt.

In 2007, Patricia was again saddened with the death of her second husband, George. She was blessed to be able to stay in her home with the assistance of one of her grandchildren. As the years went by, her health began to decline. Dementia also set in more, and when she became in need of additional care she moved to Stonebridge Manor where she lived for the past two years. Patricia drew her last breath just two weeks prior to her 90th birthday.

All who knew Patricia L. (Castor) Martinek would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was active and always liked to be accomplishing something. Patricia lived to serve others, and over the years she touched the hearts and lives of so many. It was easy to see that there was no greater gift in her life than her family, and she was happiest when surrounded by their love. Dearly loved, Patrica will be forever missed.

Patricia L. (Castor) Martinek, age 89 of Grand Rapids, passed away May 2, 2018. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Carl Castor in 1977; her second husband, George Martinek in 2007; and by her sister, Doris Holt. Pat is survived by her children Scott & Cathy Castor, Gary & Sue Castor, Mark Castor, Todd & Deanne Castor; 9 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren; as well as several step-children and step-grandchildren. The service to remember and celebrate Pat's life will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 10:30 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, where friends are invited to visit with her family from 9:30 AM until the service and immediately following the service during a luncheon. To read more about her life, to share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com