M.H. “Marty” Betts of Merrillan, WI, passed away Nov. 4, 2023, at the age of 77.

     Marty Betts was born Sept. 10, 1946, in LaFarge, WI, to Hugh and Laura Elsie (Hewuse) Betts. He attended high school at Harlem High School in Loves Park, IL, where he was active in a variety of sports, including football, track and wrestling. He later graduated with the class of ’64. Following graduation, Marty studied business administration at Rock Valley College in Rockford, IL, before continuing his studies at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. Always one with a strong work ethic, Marty spent his summers as an iron worker, erecting structural steel, metal buildings and tying rebar.  

     After graduating from Northern Illinois University in 1968, Marty enlisted in the United States Army, where he served in the Vietnam War with the 101st Infantry Division. For his service, Marty received numerous achievement and commendation medals, including the Army Commendation Medal. Back in the states, Marty was stationed at Ft. Campbell, where he completed his flight training. He maintained a private pilot’s license long after leaving the armed services. Marty was a lifelong member of the American Legion and VFW.

     Upon leaving the military, Marty returned to Illinois and began work with the Illinois Career Training Center as the executive vice president and chief executive officer. He then went to work for WROK/WZOK where he oversaw sales and radio advertising. In 1982, Marty opened his own public relations and full-service advertisement firm and later opened ABC Auto Parts and Machine Shop in 1987. In 1990, Marty returned to WROK/WZOK    where he worked as an account executive until his retirement. 

     In 1998, Marty met the love of his life, Susan Ault. They were married June 24, 2003, in Eureka Springs, AR.

     Marty and Susan were avid travelers, visiting all the continental United States; even traveling by hot air balloon and submarine. Some of these trips included river cruises, where “Party Marty” would entertain guests and crew alike as the emcee. In his spare time, Marty loved to traverse the open road on his motorcycle or hit the trails on an ATV. Marty and Susan made a second home in Texas, where they would often stay to escape the frigid Wisconsin winters. 

     Marty is survived by his wife, Susan, of 20 years; sister Carol (Bill) Tratnik; sons Sean, Jason and Joshua (Jana) Signer; grandchildren Stephanie, Jaiden, Desirae, and Claira Jo; and three great-grandchildren. Also surviving are Marty’s dog, Whiskey, his two best friends, Rick and Jerry, as well as numerous friends and relatives. 

     He is preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Laura Elsie Betts.

     A Celebration of life will be held at the VFW in Loves Park, IL from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. 

     There will never be anyone else quite like Marty, and those who knew him will miss him dearly.

     The Jensen-Modjeski Funeral home is assisting the family, 715-963-2311.

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