Serving Whitman County since 1877

Martin Steen

July 8, 1936 - Oct. 20, 2023

Martin Steen, longtime Colfax resident, passed away Friday, October 20, 2023, at the Cascadia of Colfax Health & Rehab Center. He was 87. A Celebration of Life will be at Eddy's Chinese Restaurant at 702 S. Main St. in Colfax on Friday, October 27, at 6 p.m. The No-Host dinner is limited to seating for 40 people so please come early.

Kent Martin Steen was born July 8, 1936, in Kenmare, North Dakota, to Knut and Beth Estelle Lundt Steen. He attended school at West Mill Plains, Vancouver, Washington, and Bozeman High School in Montana where he graduated in 1954. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree from Washington State College in 1958 with an emphasis in botany and he also did some graduate work. Martin worked as an Agronomy Research Technician at WSU in Pullman from 1960-1992.

He married Heather Ann Pearson on June 13, 1964, in Pullman, Washington. They lived for many years on their small family farm in Colfax with all livestock types represented. They raised their daughter and son in Colfax where they were active in the community. Martin was a starting member of Developmental Disabilities, Friends of the Library, and delivered Meals on Wheels regularly. He was active for over sixty years in international folk dancing. Martin made two contributions of plant specimens, new to science. Each going to Marion Ownbey Herbarium in Pullman, Washington, to the University of Washington in Seattle, and to the New York Botanical Garden.

He is survived by his wife Heather Ann Steen and his son Lorn Ray Steen, both at Colfax; by brothers Keith in Beaverton, Oregon, and Michael in Yerington, Nevada. Martin was preceded in death by his daughter Leanne Lynn Steen on July 28, 2023, by his sister Karen, and by his parents.

The family suggests memorial gifts be made to the WSU Marion Ownbey Herbarium, School of Biological Sciences, WSU, P.O. Box 644236, 4th Floor Owen Science Library, Pullman, WA. 99164-4236 On-line guest book is available at

Corbeill Funeral Home in Colfax is caring for the family.


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