Martin “Butch” Lee Baedke, beloved husband, father and grandfather, entered eternal life peacefully while surrounded by family on Wednesday, November 30, 2022. Martin (along with his wife Mary) were former residents of Cedar Falls, IA and moved to Savage, MN to reside with their daughter and son-in-law during the COVID pandemic.
Martin was born on the family farm in Graettinger, IA on May 26, 1937, to Martin Albert Baedke and Amanda Martha (Wolff). He was the middle child of five.
After graduating from Graettinger High School, he completed a 2-year degree at Estherville Community College, now known as Iowa Lakes Community College. Martin then started working as an Installer & Chief Technician for the local cable company known as Community TV Signal Company. Martin met Mary Blum on a blind date arranged by their good friend Fred Baedke, and they were married shortly after on October 11, 1959. After their marriage, Martin joined the U.S. Army where he and Mary spent over 2 years serving at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.
After his honorable discharged from military service, Martin and Mary moved back to Northwest Iowa. Here, they started their family while Martin continued his career in Telecommunications Management by designing, building, and managing a number of cable TV systems. During his long career, Martin and his family moved from Iowa, to California, then Illinois and back to Iowa. Because of his success in the cable TV industry Martin was in high demand and worked for cable companies such as: Sammons Communication/Turlock Cablevision; Teleprompter Cable TV; Spencer Community Antenna Systems, Inc.; Waterloo/Cedar Falls Cablevision; Vantage Cable, Heritage Cable, Generic Marketing; Triax Cable and finally Mediacom Communications. Later in Martin’s cable TV career, he moved his focus from Construction and Operations Management to Marketing and Sales where he loved to travel and interact with his co-workers and customers. While working in this Telecommunication Industry that he loved, Martin survived both bi-pass surgery in 1991 as well as a cancer diagnosis/treatment from 2003-2004. Shortly thereafter Martin retired from his Cable career.
Martin grew up in a musical and athletic household. He played basketball, football and baseball. He played coronet/trumpet while in junior high and high school, was a member of the marching band, and a member of the school choir. Later in life Martin enjoyed singing in the church choir while also volunteering at church. As a former member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, IA, Martin was versatile as he could sing either tenor or bass. Martin was known as the choir member to make everyone laugh and enjoy each other’s fellowship while singing. Members were known to show-up early for practice when they knew Martin would be there.
Martin was a strong believer in giving back to his community and was active in various service organizations. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and received the Kiwanis International Distinguished Service Award. Martin was a Rotary member and helped to sponsor various projects in the community including reorganizing a local Cub Scout Pack. Martin was also a loyal Red Cross blood donor and gave faithfully until his cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2003-2004. As a regular church volunteer, Martin helped with church repairs, renovations, Christmas Caroling during the holidays and other events throughout the year. In his free time, Martin enjoyed being outdoors whether it was to work on cars or complete yard work and lawn care.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Martin Baedke & Amanda Baedke; his brother, Eugene Baedke & wife Dora Baedke; his sister, Josie (Baedke) Dahl & husband Don Dahl and two sisters-in-law: Sandi Baedke and Connie Baedke.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Mary Baedke formerly of Cedar Falls, IA, now currently of Savage, MN; his sons: Bruce Baedke (Kerisa) of Des Moines, IA and Steven Baedke (Liz) of Harrisonburg, VA and their daughter, Paige Baedke of Chicago, IL; his daughter, Barbara Staebell (Jason) of Savage, MN; two brothers: Ron Baedke (Jill) of Mechanicsville, VA and Larry Baedke of Scottsdale, AZ; other relatives and friends.
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