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Memorial Gathering

Latvian Evangelical Lutheran United Church
Saturday May 7th, 2022

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Martins "Marty" Minka

Martins (Marty) Karlis Minka went to be with his Lord on April 30, 2022. He was born on November 26, 1962 to Alfred and Gaida (Rungis) Minka in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Following his graduation from Kalamazoo Central High School, Martin attended Western Michigan University where, in 1989, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. While attending WMU, Martin met his wife, Lori (Maxson) Minka. The two were married on September 4, 1994. Together they raised two wonderful children Alyssa and Nikolai Minka in the quiet town of Plainwell, Michigan.  Marty spent many years working as a sales representative for various food companies. He also spent some time substitute teaching in various schools in the area.

Martin enjoyed hunting and fishing. Many of his days were spent at his property in Grand Junction with his favorite labs Ciba, Alma, Kona, and Opal. This piece of property reminded him of his parents’ homeland of Latvia.  Another passion of Martins was cycling.  Whether it was racing a bike or riding it for fun, it was his favorite. He also loved to spend time in the sun–a favorite stop of his was the beaches in South Haven.

Martin loved his Latvian heritage and from a young age he was taught about what it meant to be Latvian. He was very well known in the local Latvian community and Garezers (a Latvian Camp located in Three Rivers, MI).  He also shared this love with his children. Martin was able to travel to Latvia a few times over the years, with his most memorable trip being when he was able to take Alyssa and Nikolai. These adventures led him to find his favorite spot, Kolka–it was his paradise. 

Martin is survived by his wife of 28 years Lori (Maxson) Minka; two children Alyssa (William) Milliken and Nikolai (Molly Wright) Minka; three siblings Imants (Donna Talbot) Minka, Arnis (Dzidra) Minka, and Zaiga (John) Thorson.

While visiting Martins webpage at www.amsfuneralhomes.com please sign the guestbook and/or sharing a memory with the family. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make contributions to the Kalamazoo Latvian Associations (100 Cherry Hill Dr, Kalamazoo MI 49006), Garezers (57732 Lone Tree Rd, Three Rivers MI 49093), and the Kalamazoo Latvian Fishing and Hunting Club (2334 Tonawanda Lake Rd, Grawn MI 49637). 

Visit with family and friends on Saturday, May 7th starting at 11:00 a.m. at the Latvian Evangelical Lutheran United Church of Kalamazoo, 100 Cherry Hill Dr, Kalamazoo MI 49006 with Pastor Aija Graham. A lunch service is to follow at the Kalamazoo Latvian Association Center located next door.



Novēlu ģimenei spēku un izturību šajos grūtos brīžos. Mārtiņs bija jauks un foršs cilvēks, ar spožu dvēseli un labu sirdi. Vieglas smilitis, Matīss Kukainis, Rīgā.

Matiss Kukainis May 10 2022 3:49 PM

I had lost my brother and mother in the past couple months and Marty contacted me to give me words of encouragement and to hang in there. A week or so later stopped by. I took him out to my garage gym to show him the photo he gave me 30 years ago. A shot of him rubbing elbows with Greg Lemond in a mountain bike race in Wisconsin. He got a chuckle and a smile out of it.
I walked out to his car and he preceded to open his trunk and he gave me a jar of pickles and some sauerkraut. He held the pickles up to light and said wait a minute… yeah they should be fine. I chuckled and smiled.
We had a quick chat about the Glenn Frey concert we went to. As he was backing out my drive he rolled his window and gave me one more \"hang in there\".
Ahh man what a good dude.
RIP my friend.

Roger Požežnik May 8 2022 9:58 AM

Rest in peace Marty and will miss seeing you at the ice rink after all these years.

Frank Noonan May 8 2022 8:26 AM

So sad to hear of Marty's passing. He was a good friend of mine. We spent many miles riding and racing together. Always had a good time around Marty. He was a good man and will be missed. Condolences to Lori, Alyssa & Nikolai.

Randy Dickerson May 7 2022 10:00 AM

Thinking of you Lori, Alyssa, your husband, Nikolai and Molly. Marty was always fun to run into around town and like I mentioned before very supportive of Logan and his fishing career. He will be truly missed.

The Gritter Family May 7 2022 9:12 AM

Dear Marty. Now you can see your peaceful place in the woods of Grand Junction and you're beloved Cape Kolka in Latvia from Heaven. We spoke a lot during the last few months. I'm glad that you reached out and I could help a bit. You are a unique person, passionate and caring. You are missed. Peace. Saldus smiltis muziba.

Dzintars "Z" Gendrikovs May 6 2022 10:20 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Martins Minka

Karlis and Jody Galens May 6 2022 9:42 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Martins Minka

Gary Keagle May 6 2022 5:34 PM

Sorry got your loss🙏🙏🙏

Jeff Murray May 6 2022 4:33 PM

While I didn't know Marty all that well, you would never know that when I would run into him in the hallways or teacher's lounge on days when he was serving as a guest teacher in our high school. We conversed as if we were old friends, with a long history together. He was a unique soul, with a friendliness and willingness to engage with his fellow humans that is all to rare in the world we find ourselves living in today. This was a good man, and our community is a little less bright with his passing. I am very thankful for having the chance to know and spend time with Marty and I hope his many friends and family will soon find solace in the memories and life lessons that he has left behind.

Justin Scott May 6 2022 9:50 AM

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