The Reverend Martin John Doepel went to his heavenly home on Sunday, February 13, 2022. He drew his last breath as his family sang “Our victory is won; The kingdom’s ours forever!”, the final line of one of his favorite hymns, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”.
Martin was the youngest son of Henry John August Doepel and Anna Caroline Louise (Fricke) Doepel. He was born December 20, 1933 in Lutherville, AR and brought to the Lord in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism on January 20, 1934. He was confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church, Ulm, AR, on March 30th, 1947.
He attended Heinrichs School, a one-room school in Ulm, AR for first grade and Zion Lutheran School, Ulm, AR, for the remainder of elementary school. His high school education was at St. Paul’s College Academy, Concordia, MO.
He attended Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, IL and graduated on June 10, 1955 with a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a minor in religion.
He and Martha Mary Rauschelbach were joined in marriage at First Immanuel Lutheran Church, Cedarburg, WI, on June 19, 1955.
He began his teaching career in 1955 at Immanuel Lutheran School, a rural one-room school in Breckinridge, OK. He also taught at St. Peter Lutheran School and Milwaukee Lutheran High School, both in Milwaukee, WI, and Holy Scripture Lutheran School in Midland, MI.
In the summer of 1977, in addition to his teaching position, he began his theological training at Concordia Lutheran Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN. He attended summer sessions there through 1981.
In August 1981, he retired from teaching to study fulltime at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, Mankato, MN, and received his Candidate of Theology degree on June 19, 1983.
He served the Hartland/Manchester Lutheran Parish, MN, from 1983-1986; Immanuel Lutheran Church, Audubon, MN, from 1986-1996; St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Portage, WI, and Newport Lutheran Church, Wisconsin Dells, WI, (a joint parish) from 1996-2003.
During his 20-year theological career, he served as the Circuit Visitor for a number of years and on the Board of Trustees of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod for 15 years.
He retired from the full-time ministry in June 2003, and he and his wife, Martha, moved to Eau Claire, WI. Although retired, he continued to serve as a guest and vacancy Pastor. In May, 2015, he and Martha moved to Yukon, OK.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Henry and Anna, five brothers: Emil, Walter, William, Herman, and Edwin; and two sisters: Freda Sheer and Lorene Kline.
Martin is survived by his wife, Martha; three children and their spouses: Mark and Barbara Doepel of Midland, MI; David and Bonnie Doepel of Columbia Heights, MN; Rachel and Robert Widmer of Yukon, OK; nine grandchildren and their spouses: Ruth and Travis Solland of Star Prairie, WI; Hannah and Pedro Rodas of Strongsville, OH; Sarah and Michael Lilienthal of Albert Lea, MN; Jonah Widmer and Betsy Evans of Minneapolis, MN; Gabriella and Nik Munro of Durham, NC; Elise and Abraham Faugstad of Waukon, IA; Katherine Doepel of Columbia Heights, MN; Rebekah Doepel of Durham, NC; and Claire Widmer of Lancaster, PA; and seven great-grandchildren: Aaron, Owen, Isabell, Samuel, Wyatt, Hilde and Bjug.
Surviving sisters are Irene Tritch of Terra Bella, CA; Frances Grice of Fruitland Park, FL; and Wanda Perry of Stuttgart, AR as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral service will be Saturday, February 26 at 10:30 a.m. at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, OKC with visitation at 10 a.m. at church and also Friday 6-8 p.m. at Yanda & Son Funeral Home, Yukon. Interment will be May 12 at Glenwood Cemetery in Mankato, MN.
Memorials may be made to the Reverend Martin J. Doepel Scholarship at Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary in Mankato, MN.
Blessed be his memory! To God be the Glory!
Online condolences may be signed at www.yandafuneral.com. Arrangements are under the direction of Yanda & Son Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Yukon, OK.