Franklin Countys First News

Marti Strunk (1937-2020)

Marti Strunk

FARMINGTON - On May 15, 2020, Marti Strunk left this world to continue her journey beyond this life.

She was born Martha Ann Loresch on May 3, 1937, to her proud parents Harry William Loresch Jr. and Martha Peterson Loresch of Pittsburgh, Penn. There, she was raised with her two younger siblings, Harry III and Dianne Louise Loresch. She graduated from Edinboro University with a degree in Education.

In the mountains of Pennsylvania, she met her future husband, Justin “Jud” Strunk playing his banjo at a ski resort pub. The couple married and soon after and had three sons: Rory, Jeffrey, and Joel. The family of five settled in Farmington where Marti first focused on raising her sons and managing her husband’s entertainment career.

By the late 60s, their dreams of breaking into the entertainment world were realized with several musical albums and a television appearance on Merv Griffin, taped on the porch of their home on High Street. Soon they packed their bags and moved to California, and after much success, returned to Maine. Upon their return, Marti and Jud went their separate ways. Marti embarked upon a passionate career teaching Art at Mount Blue Junior High School. Marti was a consummate business woman who balanced teaching with a love for finding diamonds-in-the- rough property, creating art and spending time with family and friends at Sugarloaf. It was during that time where she met the love of her life, Sturges Butler. Together they took on the renovation of the Kawanhee Inn, where, over the years, they hosted many life milestones with friends, family and a nightly tradition of Sturges playing taps at Sunset.

Marti's journey was one defined by her spirit to never give up, no matter what the challenge, and to cultivate and protect your dreams. A spirit that lives on through her husband, her sons and her grandchildren. The family would like to acknowledge Desrae Dunn for her personal assistance, compassion, and at-home care for Marti in the months that they shared together.

A celebration of life event will be announced in the near future. Arrangements are being cared for by Wiles remembrance

Center: Adams-McFarlane Chapel 137 Farmington Falls Rd. Farmington. We encourage those people close to Marti to share their experiences with us in her book of memories at

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26 Responses »

  1. Sturgis, Rory, Jeff, and Joel,

    Sadness lives in my heart for all of you and for all of us who knew your beautiful mother. Her genuine welcome of folks to her home, her classroom, and to Kawanee, showed her tremendous love for others. Marti possessed a delightful joy in her art and friendships. May you find comfort in your memories and in your faith.

    Thank you for sharing your mother with this community,

    Beverly Bisbee

  2. Too many fund memories working for Marti during my teens. She and Sturgis will always hold a dear spot in my heart. She could keep me busy, and helped teach me so much about all the aspects of running a place like Kawanhee Inn. We butted heads at times but she always had a hug for me and an explanation why. Much love to the family.
    John Graham

  3. I have such fond memories of Marti from MBJH. She taught me many things that I remember today. Calligraphy being the one that stuck with me throughout life. She and my mother were friends, from the art world. My condolences for your loss.

  4. My thoughts go out to Marti’s family. I have such wonderful memories of her at Kawanhee Inn. 💔

  5. I was a neighbor of the Strunk family in Farmington for all those years I babysat for the boys, cleaned her house, and recently watched as the years advanced. I last saw her 12 days before she passed when we did a birthday parade by her home, with Sturges, the boys and their families. She will be missed by them all and I'm sending condolences to them all.

  6. I am saddened to learn. Of Marti a passing she was a gracious and interesting person .my condolences to
    To her sons. all of her family and to the friends who had the pleasure of knowing her .
    I am sure the Angel's have wrapped there wings around her high lady fly high🌄

  7. I remember Marti from the MBJH where I had art classes with her. Like Thai said, I remember her trying to teach me calligraphy, but my letters always had a slant! Couldn't be helped, I guess! Haha I also knew Marti through my grandmother, who also worked at MBJH. Her artistic spirit will be missed.

  8. I had the privilege of doing Marty's here for a period of time what a lovely lovely woman. May you rest in peace marty you will be forever remembered as a lovely lady.

  9. ❤️ thinking of the many wonderful connections with marti: pennsylvania, music in las angeles, clearwater pond and weld ! hugs to all 😘

  10. To Strugis, Rory, Jeff and Joel,
    We are sorry for your loss. My wife I and always found Marti to be warm, funny, and fearless in life. As kids we all did our best to test Marti's patience and understanding, but she persevered. Our hearts go out to you and to all in this trying time. Remember all that she was. We will keep you all in our prayers.

  11. fond memories of her in my art class

  12. Jeff I am so sorry. I don't know what to say that hasn't been said. She was like a second mother to me. I remember talking in the living room with you as teenagers on High St. , we were talking cars and your mother said to us " Any girl that is interested in the kind of car that you drive don't bother to bring her home to meet me." I have told my son that story but it hasn't sunk in yet he still bring those type of girls home. Again so sorry for you , I am feeling it to. Please convey my thoughts to all the family and God Bless You All .

  13. I have many fo d memories of Marti as a teacher and also as a family friend, spending time at Sugarloaf and at Clearwater Lake. She was a fun, down to earth person. She was sentimental yet calm. I am so sorry for her family’s loss. A truly lovely lady.

  14. Dear Sturges, Rory, Jeff and Joel & families.
    There are so many happy moments to remember. Firstly Marti’s greetings were beautiful, warm and sincere highlighted by her distinct voice and beautiful smile. She was brave, daring, charming, delightful and ambitious. Our lives crossed in interesting ways and I always felt a soulmate, kinship with her. I am forever glad to have had her friendship for 50 + years. Rest In Peace dear Marti. My deepest sympathy to each of you and to the community who will like me miss the joy she created in our lives.
    Love, Peggy Hodgkins

  15. I have such fond memories of dinners at the Kawanhee Inn.
    Blessings on Mari and her family. She was a lovely lady

  16. Sad to hear of Marti's passing. She was a great friend and employer. So many fond memories of the Inn and Marti and Sturgis over a decade. She taught us much about work and life. She had a huge heart and would do anything she could to help anyone! Will remember her fondly. Love and prayers to the whole Strunk and Butler families.

  17. To Sturgis and family,
    My sincere condolences for the loss of Marti. She was a force to be reckoned with. She will be missed.

  18. I remember my lovely stays at the Kawanhee Inn when Marti and Sturges ran it. She was a lovely lady.

  19. Sturgis, we are so sorry that Marti has left you. We always enjoyed our brief visits, and especially enjoyed watching the beautiful colors in the arrangements of the flowers coming up across the street. I think of Marti and you whenever they appear in my garden from the plants shared by both of you. Thank you and best wishes for both of you in your coming adventures.

  20. My condolences to the Strunk/Butler family. Marti and Sturges have always been important people in the lives of my family. Marti gave many of us in the small town of Weld a chance to work and grow for many years. Her laugh was infectious. I always think of her with fondness. Fran (Collins) Benigno

  21. I had the honor & privilege of caring for Marti in her later years. I never knew her before that, I saw how much she was loved by her dear caring husband Sturges & heard many lovely stories about her past. She had a great sense of humor & strong love of her family & husband. May she rest in peace now.

  22. I had the pleasure of calling Marti a friend, for nearly 50 years. She is the first person I contacted when looking for an apartment in Farmington, as a new teacher in 1976.. Our friendship grew from there and I had the privilege of working for Marti for 15 years at the Kawanhee Inn and after that, as she enjoyed her life on High St. We shared many tears and laughs over the years and I truly considered her a wonderful friend. My sincere sympathy to the boys and Sturges. Remember all of the fun times and stories we could share!!

  23. So sorry to hear of the passing of Marti she was a great boss to work for and she taught me alot about flowers and she was like a mother to me I will miss her very when ever I was in Farmington I'd drive by the house just to see if she was home I didn't know she was sick you all have my sincere condoleances

  24. Met marti at Clearwater as I rented her camps for many years over the Fourth of July...she was a nice person and wonderful friend. I also took my family to her place in weld to was a fun time. We will miss her friendship.

  25. Sturges and Family, Very sorry to hear of Marti's passing! She was a beautiful and talented woman! My love and sympathy to you all! Brenda Holman

  26. I was fortunate to work with Marti and Sturgess at the Kawahnee. it was such a nice season. I enjoyed my time with them immensely. Marti was such a live wire, full of life and love. She treasured her family and enjoyed every moment she could with them. I will always remember that summer, I was blessed to have the time with Marti and Sturgess