Sunday Church Service11:15 am
Sunday October 24, 2021
Bethel's Rock Church - Richfield Campus
7601 Girard Ave. S
Richfield MN, 55432
Martha Jane Hjelm, age 72, of Richfield, Minnesota, went home to Jesus her Savior as she was embraced by her children on Sunday, October 10, 2021.
Martha was born September 26, 1949 in Cleveland, Ohio to Steven and Peoria “Perry” (DeFranco) Muzenjak. She was raised in Cleveland, where she graduated from Collinwood High School. Martha was united in marriage to Rodney Hjelm on August 16, 1969, and the couple made their home in Lakeville, MN. The couple was blessed with three children, Dana, Laura, and Dan; the family resided in Richfield and later Duluth. Martha taught her children so much, especially grace, selflessness, and compassion for others. The marriage between Martha and Rodney later dissolved, and Martha moved back to Richfield.
Although she worked as a home health aide caring for others for years, her heart was truly in her creative pursuits – including miniatures, cooking, baking, gardening, and more. She was a “foodie” and joyful hostess who celebrated every cuisine; she enjoyed sharing food with others and passing on her knowledge. In addition to the kitchen, Martha’s “happy place” was in her flower garden that surrounded her house and covered most of her yard. Her artistic skills and amazing eye for detail were also showcased in realistic, miniature food designs she created out of polymer clay, which she sold at artisan and craft events.
Martha radiated love for her family and friends and everyone she came across; she truly was the most giving, gentle, and kind person around. She had keen intuition, sensitivity, and deep empathy. She cared for everyone around her and was able to form strong connections with anyone right at their level. She was known for her generosity and for helping people in need by providing them a place to stay or giving what she could.
Martha’s profound love for the Lord was core to who she was; her spiritual relationship with Jesus guided her life and directed her steps. She enjoyed various churches over the years, in recent years attending services at Bethel’s Rock Church in Richfield. Martha took it upon herself to learn several languages of people from other cultures. She loved sharing her love of the Lord with everybody.
Martha will forever remain in the hearts of her children, Dana (Kelly) Mattingly, Laura Hjelm, and Dan Hjelm; grandchildren, Joshua, Grace, and Hannah Mattingly as well as Brandy (Daniel) Andrews; siblings, Jackie (Fred) Janesh, Tom Jr. (Donna) Fording, Steve Muzenjak, and Bobby Muzenjak; several nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends – especially her lifelong friend Diane Strahan, a.k.a. the “Fox” or “Auntie” as Martha’s kids know her. She was preceded in death by her biological father, Steven Muzenjak; and her mother and adoptive father, Peoria “Perry” and Thomas Fording.
To celebrate Martha’s life, family and friends are invited to attend the 11:15 a.m. church service on Sunday, October 24th at Bethel’s Rock Church – Richfield Campus, 7601 Girard Ave. S, Richfield, MN. Following the service, a gathering of family and friends will be held at the church, where a light lunch will be served.
In honor of Martha, her family is creating a special memorial garden in the yard of her Richfield home (which will stay in the family). Any memorials given to remember Martha will be used toward creating this garden.