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Van Orden’s daughter Sydney dies of cancer after prolonged illness



Congressman Derrick Van Orden has announced that his oldest daughter, Sydney, has died of cancer after battling the disease for a year.

Sydney Marie Martenis is survived by her husband, two sons and a daughter, as well as by her parents and siblings. Last week, the 3rd District Congressman attended an event in La Crosse virtually rather than in person, because of his daughter’s illness.

Van Orden issued this statement:

“It is with the most profound sense of grief and joy that Sara Jane and I announce the passing of our oldest daughter, Sydney Marie (Van Orden) Martenis after a year of battling a very aggressive form of cancer. She died peacefully surrounded by her family.

“We are heartbroken that we cannot share her smile and laugh in person any longer but are so thankful that she is resting with our Lord and that we were able to spend these years with her and her family.

“Sydney is survived by grandma Virginia Whitelock, husband Chris, daughter Madelyn, sons, Charlie and Roman, father and mother Derrick and Sara Jane, Sister Abigail (Williams), brothers, Theodore and Daniel, and many uncles, aunts, and cousins.

“Thank you for all of the tender mercies you have shown to our family. May God bless you all.”


A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. Jim Banks

    August 22, 2023 at 10:53 pm

    RIP ????????????????

  2. Sandie

    August 23, 2023 at 12:54 am

    Sending prayers ????????

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