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Martin J. “Marty” Rue Sr., 73, of Peru died October 10, 2019 in Heritage Health in Mendota.
Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Saturday in the Hurst Funeral Home in La Salle with Reader Joanne Snyder of the First Church of Christ Scientist of Peru officiating. Burial will be in Peru City Cemetery with full military services conducted by La Salle/Oglesby Veteran’s Memorial Group. Visitation will be Friday from 4-7:00 PM in the funeral home and Saturday from 10:00 AM until time of services.
Martin was born in Peru on April 23, 1946 to Martin J. and Elizabeth A. (Duffy) Rue. He graduated from La Salle-Peru Township High School in 1964. At LP, he excelled in football, basketball, and baseball, earning triple letters in each sport. He attended LPO for one semester before transferring to North East Missouri State Teacher’s College in Kirksville, MO. There he earned a full scholarship to play football. As a true freshman, he earned a spot on the varsity football team.
Martin volunteered for the draft, enlisting in the United States Army in April 1966 and was sent to Fort Polk, LA for basic training. After basic training, Martin volunteered for Vietnam and was transferred to “Tigerland” for eight weeks of intensive jungle warfare training. In 1966, while serving with a three man “Pony” team in the First Cavalry Div., Delta Co., 2/8, he was gravely wounded. Eventually, Martin was shipped to Great Lakes Naval Hospital. At Great Lakes Hospital, he received the Purple Heart Award. After years of operations and rehab, Martin finally worked with the La Salle County Board to setup the Veteran’s Assistance Commission of La Salle County. He served as Superintendent for the commission 33 years before his health forced retirement. As a member of the La Salle AmVets Post, Martin worked many years to get the La Salle Veteran’s Home established and operational. Later, his hard work and dedication led to a further extension of the home.
On June 28, 1969, Martin married Sue Danner of Ladd. They had one daughter, Stephanie L. Rue. In May of 1978, Martin and Sue divorced. On April 24, 1982, Martin married Katherine A. Lurz. They had two sons, Martin Jr. and Joseph Rue.
Martin enjoyed scouting, hunting, fishing, playing cards, golf, and most sports. He was a youth sports coach for boys and girls. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club of La Salle-Peru, the American Legion and it’s Forty and Eight, the Disabled American Vets, and helped organize Special Olympics for many years.
In his later years, Marty cherished his conversations with his neighbor, Alyssa Stuart, while tending to his vegetable garden, and looked forward to and revered the random drop-in conversations, and flowers on Veteran’s Day, from Cierra Espinoza. Marty also enjoyed when his daughter-in-law, Genesis, stopped by to give him his “lovin” and when other family and friends took time to visit with him.
Martin is survived by his wife Kathy A. (Lurz) Rue of Peru; three children Stephanie L. Rue of Oglesby, Martin J. Rue Jr. of Peru, and Joseph J.(Genesis) Rue of Everett, WA. Also surviving, one brother Raymond J. (Norma) Rue of Granville, one nephew Matthew G. (Nichole) Rue of Longmont, CO, great niece Nora Rue of Longmont, CO, and his beloved dog Rocky.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Pallbearers will be Martin Rue Jr., Joseph Rue, Stephanie Rue, Ray Rue, Matt Rue, Michael “Koko” Hrovat, and Jack Lininger.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Illinois Veteran’s Home at La Salle.