Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Martin Edward “Marty” Roepstorff, USAFJanuary 27, 1947 – July 11, 2016
Martin Edward “Marty” Roepstorff passed away peacefully under the gentle care of Good Shepherd Hospice on Monday, July 11, 2016. On that date, he was welcomed into heaven by his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Marty was born January 27, 1947 in McPherson, Kansas. In the early 1960’s, Marty’s family moved to Sebring, Florida where he enrolled at Sebring High School. Before graduating from Sebring in 1965, Marty was recognized as one of the area’s top athletes lettering in track, baseball, basketball and football. He had several opportunities to continue his athletic career in college, but instead enlisted as a teenager in the United States Air Force.
While serving in the Air Force, Marty applied for and was accepted into training to become one of the U.S. Military’s Elite Special Forces, the United States Air Force Pararescue, commonly known as Maroon Berets or PJs. After successful graduation from training, Marty was sent to Vietnam to serve his country. Stationed at Da Nang Air Base, Sergeant Roepstorff flew 282 missions in Southeast Asia during his 13-month tour. He flew most of his missions as a crewman aboard the HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopter. Assigned to the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery, Marty and his team were responsible for saving 18 American lives, maintaining the elite group’s motto These things we do… That others may live.
In recognition of his military valor, Marty was awarded the Silver Star of Gallantry, the Distinguished Flying Cross and First Oak Leaf Cluster for Heroism, and the First, Second and Third Oak Leaf Clusters for the Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement. After Vietnam, Marty was stationed at Wheelus Air Base in Tripoli, Libya and was part of the Special Operations Forces flying for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Recovery Group.
After returning home from military service, Marty attended Florida International University majoring in finance. He then attended Cornell University’s campus in Washington, D.C. majoring in economics. He became an efficiency expert working in Chicago, Fort Myers, Washington D.C., Orlando and then to Sebring, back to the town and friends he loved the most. In 1998, Marty became the Water Utility Director for the City of Sebring and retired from that position on December 31, 2013. In addition to his love for the City of Sebring and his friends, Marty loved life, golf and family. Marty enjoyed his nephews probably the most. For Matt, Damon and Dorian, Uncle Marty was a profound influence in their lives.
Marty is predeceased in life by his loving mother, Delores, and leaves behind his wife, Betty Oliver Roepstorff, his father Alfred, sister Alandee (David) Delp, brother Geoffrey (Robbie) and brother Sanford (Renee) along with his nephews Matthew Roepstorff, Damon and Dorian Delp.
An interment will be held later this year for Marty at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Donations may be made in Marty’s memory to the That Others May Live Foundation at www.thatothersmaylive.org. Memorial gifts may also be mailed to the That Others May Live Foundation at 6220 S. McLeod Drive, Suite 120, Las Vegas, NV, 89120. Established in 2002, the Foundation provides critical support, scholarships, and immediate tragedy assistance for the families of United States Air Force Rescue Heroes who are killed or severely wounded in operational or training missions.
Services entrusted to: Stephenson-Nelson Funeral Home, 4001 Sebring Parkway, Sebring, FL 33870
Online condolences may be left at: www.stephensonnelsonfh.com