Annie Martell, Ex-Wife Of Late Singer John Denver: Married Life, Kids And Family

September 13, 2023   | March 22, 2024  | 

    Annie Martell is the ex-wife of the late singer and songwriter John Denver. The two remained married for 15 years until their divorce in 1982, following a string of Denver’s extra-marital affairs and the singer’s pressurizing career schedule.

    While together, Martell and Denver adopted two children. So after their separation, what’s become of their kids? What is Annie doing currently? Is she still alive? Let’s get to know about her whereabouts, relationship, and family in detail.

    Key takeaways:

    • Annie Martell was born on September 6, 1946, in Nicollet, Minnesota, USA.
    • She attended Aldophus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.
    • Martell, famous as the ex-wife of late singer John Denver, remained in a 15-year-long marital relationship with him.
    • She is the subject of the very famous song “Annie’s Song” by her ex-husband which charted #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
    • She and John were parents of two adopted children: Zachary John Denver and Anna Kate Denver.
    • Her ex-husband died on October 12, 1997, in a plane crash.

    John Denver’s Ex-Wife Annie Martell: Age & Family

    Martell was born on September 6, 1946, in Nicollet, Minnesota, to now deceased parents, Jim Martell and Norma Martell. As of 2024, she is 77 years old.

    She grew up with her four siblings, sisters: Teri Martell and Linda Nelson (husband Kirk), and a brother Ben Martell (wife Kelly) Martell, an American by nationality, comes from a Christian household with strong religious beliefs.

    Father And Mother Used To Run A Dinner Club

    Annie’s dad, Jim, and mom, Norma, used to run a dinner club named Holiday House, situated outside of St. Peter along the river. It was the very same club where Martell celebrated her wedding reception with the late singer (her ex-husband) John Denver.

    Annie’s Both Parents Are No More

    Martell’s mother, Norma M. Martell, died on October 22, 2008, at the age of 84. A native of Le Sueur, Minnesota,  born on April 1, 1923, she was the daughter of William & Ida Ziebarth. At the time of her death, she and her husband, Jim, whom she married in 1943, had spent 65 years together.

    Annie’s father, Eldon James “Jim” Martell (b. December 27, 1923), passed away on March 14, 2014, succeeding his wife’s death of 6 years. Starting from aid in his parent’s restaurant to pending his own bar and restaurant, the Waterloo, Iowa, native worked in the hospitality business for 50 years.

    Where Did She Study?

    Annie did her formal schooling in the neighborhood school in her hometown. After graduating from high school, she attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.

    Annie Met Her Late Former Hubby During Her College

    Martell met her then-future husband (whom she would divorce later) John in 1966 when she was a sophomore at Gustavus Adolphus College. Denver, who was a part of The Chad Mitchell Trio, was performing a gig at her college when he saw Annie and fell in love with her.

    But it was until a year later, in 1967, that the duo would have their first date. Moreover, in the same year, the Calypso singer proposed to her but she rejected it at first before changing her mind to ‘Yes’ later.

    Married Life Of Annie Martell With Ex-Husband John Denver

    Annie and John Denver didn’t take long to take another step in their relationship. Only a year after their dating, the two married on June 9, 1967, in an extravagant yet private wedding ceremony.

    A 1967 wedding photo of Annie Martell and John Denver
    Annie and John at their wedding

    In 1975, Denver released a hit song “Annie’s Song” dedicated to his wife which he composed in 10 minutes while on a Colorado ski lift. But by that time, their marriage was in turmoil as the singer’s overwhelming success made her “insecure.” Even though they separated briefly in the mid-70s, the two reconciled later.

    Why Did They Divorce?

    Martell and Denver’s reconciliation was not a happily-ever-after story. After 15 years of marriage, they divorced in 1982. According to the documentary John Denver: Country Boy (2013), John’s interview in 1983 stated the reason for the split was career demands- a hectic career schedule.

    As reported, his ex-wife Annie said that the duo were too young and immature to deal with the overwhelming Denver’s music career success.

    Some sources claim that their divorce proceeded after the singer’s extra-marital affair was out. Yet, still after their divorce, the two remained friends.

    Did Denver And Martell Have Any Kids?

    Since John was unable to father children, he and Annie opted for adoption and adopted two children. They adopted a new-born son Zachary John Denver, born on May 23, 1974, and a daughter Anna Kate Denver in 1976.

    Annie Martell and her then-husband John Denver adopted 2 children
    Martell’s ex-husband John with their adopted children

    Both her kids are from diverse backgrounds; her son Zachary is one-quarter Cherokee while her daughter Anna is Japanese-American. After their divorce, she and John shared custody of their kids.

    Who Is Annie Martell Married To Now?

    Annie kept her personal life low-key after her separation with the “Take Me Home, Country Roads” singer. It’s not known if she remarried or had a long-term relationship with any.

    On the other, her ex-husband John Denver married his second wife, Cassandra Delaney, an Australian actress. They tied the knot in 1988 after two years of relationship. But it ended with a divorce in 1993, following 2 years of their separation in 1991. While together, Cassandra and John had a daughter Jesse Belle.

    Death Of Former Husband Denver

    Annie’s ex-spouse John Denver died on October 12, 1997, at the age of 53, in a plane crash. At that time, he was flying a plane that crashed off the coast of California.

    According to the reports, there was no indication of an emergency before the crash. The probable causes of the crash included inadequate preparations, low fuel, and unmarked modifications to the airplane.

    Annie last spoke to him just a couple of weeks after her birthday in the fall of 1997. The ashes of John Denver were scattered in the rocky mountains after the cremation. The Grammy Award and the Country Music Association Award markedly paid tribute to the musician’s death.

    What Does Martell Do? Where Does She Live?

    As reported, Annie worked as a psychologist but further insights into her professional venture remain under wraps. Currently, Martell lives in Aspen, Colorado.


    Did John Denver have any children with his first wife?

    Denver didn’t have a biological child with his first wife Annie Martell. Instead, they adopted two children, Zachary and Anna Kate.

    What is Annie Martell’s Net Worth?

    Martell’s net worth is assumed to be $1 million. Her professional career as a psychologist and divorce alimony from Denver built her fortune.

    Who did singer Denver leave his money to?

    As reported, the late John Denver left his estate of $60 million to his three children. After his death, a California judge appointed his ex-wife Annie as the administrator of his estate.

    Quick Facts
    Full Name Ann Marie Martell
    Popular Name Annie Martell
    Birth Place Nicollet, Minnesota, USA
    Birthday September 6, 1946
    Age 77 years
    Zodiac Virgo
    Nationality American
    Ethnicity white
    Father Jim Martell
    Mother Norma Martell
    Siblings Linda, Teri, and Ben Martell
    College Aldophus College
    Height 5 ft. 6 inch
    Eye Color Dark brown
    Hair Color Brown
    Sexuality Straight
    Marital Status Divorced
    Spouse John Denver (m. 1967- div. 1982)
    Children Zachary John Denver and Anna Kate Denver