Martha was the fifth child born June 10, 1934 at Aurora, Nebraska to Maggie and Bernard Heuermann. She attended rural District #86 near Phillips, NE. She graduated as Salutatorian (from a class of 13) in 1951 from Phillips Consolidated High School. She then attended the University of Nebraska, College of Agriculture. Martha was baptized as a young adult on December 30, 1951. She was confirmed at the University of Nebraska Lutheran Chapel in May of 1955 and was married a few weeks later to Ralph Junior Knobel of Fairbury, NE. Their wedding was one day after they both graduated from UNL. (Ralph and Martha were married 62 years this past June 12th.)
Ralph’s Army commitment from September of 1955 until August of 1957 required Martha and Ralph to live in Texas and Illinois. During this time, Martha taught Homemaking for the 56-57 school year at Palatine Township High School, Palatine, Illinois. The next fall, upon returning to Fairbury, Martha taught Homemaking at Fairbury High School for one year. Martha’s teaching career was interrupted by the births and raising Ralph and Martha’s three children: 1958 Mark (wife Jan Wachter), 1960 Gwen (husband Randy Stahmer) and 1963 Todd.
Martha, Ralph and family lived in an old house on the first farm they purchased while still in the Army. Martha had a lot of irons in the fire on the farm. Besides caring for the kids, Martha helped with a lot of farm chores, especially irrigating and tending to her own personal flock of laying hens. Martha eventually swapped her laying hen job for a classroom. In 1970 she resumed her teaching career in the Western Public School system teaching elementary students for 2 years. In 1972 she transferred to Fairbury where she taught one year of elementary art, then many years teaching kindergarten and second grade retiring in 1994. Martha taught 26 years in public education with a total of 42 years when including substituting.
Music was near the top of Martha’s many interests with her love of music present at an early age. She always felt privileged to take piano lessons from the Grand Island Conservatory of Music. She always loved piano – especially the classics.
Martha also enjoyed sewing, quilting, traveling, dancing with Ralph, home decorating as well as the arts. None of these, though, brought her the enjoyment that her six grandchildren did. Elizabeth, Landon, Connor, Kara, Traci and Haley were the pride and joy of Martha.
Church community and civic/professional organizations Martha believed in. She was a member of the choir, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, taught Sunday school as well as contributing to numerous committees here at Immanuel. Martha was an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Tryette Community Education Club, Extension Clubs and Farm Bureau. While she often remarked the work and achievements of the various organizations were important, it was the people who make up these groups that she really enjoyed.
Unfortunately, Martha’s health the last few years left her unable to tell you, her many friends and family, how important you all were to her.
Preceding Martha in death are parents Maggie and Bernard Heuermann; brother Eugene Heuermann; sister-in-law Marilyn Heuermann; brother-in-law Darren Nelson; and brother-in-law Keith Sturgeon.
Succeeding Martha are husband Ralph Knobel of Fairbury, NE; children Mark (Jan) Knobel of Fairbury, NE; Gwen (Randy) Stahmer of Omaha; Todd Knobel of Fairbury; grandchildren Elizabeth Stahmer of Chicago, IL; Kara Knobel of Columbia, MO; Landon Stahmer of Los Angeles, CA; Connor Stahmer of Omaha, NE; Traci (Trevor) Menke of Grand Island, NE; Haley Knobel of Lincoln, NE; siblings Dorothy Nelson of Fresno, CA; Bernard Keith (Norma) Heuermann of Phillips, NE; Elizabeth Heuermann of Lincoln, NE; and Alma (Norman) Rohlfing of Talmage, NE. Martha also is survived by sister-in-law Alvera Sturgeon of Centennial, CO along with many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 10:30 A.M. at the Immanuel Lutheran Church of rural Daykin, Nebraska. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Memorials are to the family’s choice. The family will greet friends on Monday from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the funeral home.