Martin J. Fahncke died on Monday, August 24, 2020, at Otterbein, St. Marys, Ohio. He was 101. Martin was born to Otto M. and Eda (Kable) Fahncke on November 6, 1918 in Liberty Township of Mercer County, Ohio.
On November 11, 1944, he married the love of his life Helen L. Sielschott who preceded him in death. They had two daughters: Sharon M. Stonerock and Barbara A. Baker (Duane) who survive along with three grandsons and their families: Aaron (Laura) Stonerock; Sean (Sarah) Baker; and Brian Baker (Lorie Calico). Great Grandchildren are: Cameron, Nathan, Simon, Amelia, Maria, and Brendan Stonerock; James and Katherine Baker; and Eloise Baker, Noah, Parker, and Clara Calico.
Martin’s surviving sisters are Marcella Werner and Celesta Howell. Among remaining family members are two sisters-in-law, many cousins, nieces, nephews and their children. Brothers and sisters who preceded him in death are: Lauretta Felver, Luther Fahncke, Kenneth Fahncke, Anna Brandt, Richard Fahncke, and Wanda Fahncke.
Martin served in World War II as an Army Engineer, including 28 months of service in the Aleutian Islands. He was honorably discharged in October 1945 after the war ended. He returned to Celina where he worked for Heckler Hardware and Electric. The Electric division became a separate business of which he was a co-owner. He worked as an electrician for 36 years until his retirement.
Martin was an active member of St. John Lutheran Church, Celina (Purple Door Church) after returning from the army and became a very active member. He taught junior high Sunday School for 19 years and enjoyed helping to keep the physical building in good working order. He also served on the Vestry and Evangelism committee. After Martin retired, he continued using his electrical and carpentry skills working with the St. John Builders on local projects and church camps. He was also known among area church dartball players for being able to hit singles reliably.
Martin chose to move to independent living at Otterbein, St. Marys in 2009, but that didn’t mean he stopped volunteering at church even as he began volunteering in his new community. He began helping with landscaping and woodworking projects. Later he became known as a “cut up” for cutting over 100,000 squares of fabric for the My Very Own Blanket project at Otterbein. He was named Volunteer of the Year in 2016.
When friends and family gathered on Martin’s 100th birthday many of his woodworking projects were on display. It was a wonderful occasion to celebrate a man who has brightened the lives of many. All who knew Martin will miss his warmth, love, and humor.
Because of the recommendations by the CDC and other health experts, and the prevalence of COVID in the area, the service will be limited to the immediate family only. There will not be a visitation. The family expresses their appreciation for your understanding. Arrangements are in the care of the Lehman-Dzendzel Funeral Home, Celina. Private graveside services will be held in the North Grove Cemetery on Monday Aug. 31, 2020, with Rev. Jeff Gramza officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to St. John Lutheran Church, 1100 N. Main St. Celina, Ohio 45822, State of the Heart Hospice 1350 N. Broadway Greenville, Ohio 45331, or Wernle Youth & Family Treatment, Center 2000 Wernle Rd, Richmond, IN 47374. Condolences may be shared with the Fahncke family at LehmanDzendzelFH.com and the funeral services may be viewed at the Funeral Home website following the service.
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St. John Lutheran Church
State of the Heart Hospice
230 W. Main St., Coldwater OH 45828
Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center
2000 Wernle Rd., Richmond IN 47374