Martin Louis Stork
May 29, 1921 – Jan. 1, 2020
Martin Louis Stork was born May 29, 1921, in Monticello, Minnesota, to Rudolph and Lois Stork and baptized June 20, 1921. He was confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fremont in 1934 and, through the generosity of his pastor and teacher, he began his life-long connection to Concordia by attending Concordia High School (graduating in 1938) and then Concordia Teacher’s College, graduating May 29, 1942. He met his beloved wife (Etta Schoen) in Dodge City, Kansas, where he had his first teaching experience.
In 1942, “Mox” went to start a school at Redeemer Lutheran in Flint, Michigan. He brought his bride there in August 1944 and continued to grow the school into a grades first through eighth Lutheran Elementary School. He also served his Lord by playing organ and directing the children’s and adult choirs along with guiding the Walther League youth group, coaching elementary athletics and organizing a yearly field day for all the Lutheran schools in the area and leading Michigan District Teachers Conferences.
He received his Master of Arts degree from Michigan University in 1949 and saw the church and school through two building projects. It was his great joy to serve there. In 1959 Martin was called to begin another teaching career as a faculty member at Concordia Teacher’s College. He earned his Doctor of Education degree at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1966. He loved educating educators and administrators and began working to develop and maintain the college’s off-campus student teaching programs. He became the director of student teaching and also served as the a cappella tour director both stateside and worldwide with Paul Rosel as choir director.
Numerous college committees benefitted from his expertise, and he held membership in several professional organizations. He also served on many district synodical committees. An avid Bulldog fan, Martin spent 42 years (1959-2000) as the “voice of the Bulldogs,” announcing football and basketball games. At the end of every game, he would say “See you in church on Sunday!” Martin was also active in civic affairs. He served on the Seward Country Club Board of Directors and helped with initial planning of the golf course. He served on Seward City Council, four of those years as president. He took leadership roles in attracting Walker Manufacturing (now Tenneco) to Seward and the establishment of Plum Creek Park during his tenure.
In 1968, Martin became a Christmas tree farmer and planted his first crop of trees on Easter Sunday afternoon. In 1974, he was blessed to open the first fields and the farm continues to flourish. He also served on the Nebraska Christmas Tree Growers Association as a board member and president. Martin retired from Concordia in 1986 but continued to serve his Lord. He served on the Finance Board of St. John Lutheran Church, Concordia’s Centennial Committee and the CU Athletic Hall of Fame Board. In 1995 Martin received Concordia’s Lifetime Service Award and was inducted into the CU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
Martin was preceded to heaven by his parents; his wife, Etta; his sister, Ferra; his brother, Robert Gieselman; and many brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. He is survived by his daughters, Annetta Stork and Elizabeth (Stan) Obermueller; grandchildren, Marie (David) Willweber, Tasha (Daniel) Fingerlin, Martin Obermueller and Megan Obermueller; great-grandchildren, Micah, Anna and Jada Willweber and Nora, Rya, Nolan and Lola Fingerlin; his brother, Alan (Jan) Stork; two sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews.
On Jan. 1, 2020, at the age of 98 years, seven months and 3 days, Martin received the most precious gift of life eternal, serving his Lord and Savior with an eternity of worship and praise. To God be the glory!
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, with the family greeting friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Volzke Funeral Home in Seward. A service will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward, with the Rev. Scott Bruick officiating. Casketbearers are Marie Willweber, David Willweber, Tasha Fingerlin, Daniel Fingerlin, Martin Obermueller and Megan Obermueller. Honorary casketbearers are Alan Stork, Larry Mathews, Robert Pflieger, Courtney Meyer, Harold Parde and Robert Blevens. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Seward. Memorial contributions may be made to the Concordia University Stork-Schoen Scholarship Fund, St. John Lutheran School Scholarship Fund or the donor’s choice. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.volzkefuneralhome.com.