Rev. Martin W. Heinicke (COL, USAA Ret) was born near Elk Creek, NE, on April 8, 1925, and died June 16, 2021 at his home in Boise, ID.
He was the son of the Rev. Iddo C. Heinicke and Elizabeth C. Boehne. He grew up in the parish home with his six brothers and one sister. He completed parochial school for his first 5 grades in Elk Creek; and then, . . . at the age of ten, the family moved to
Seward, NE when his father accepted a new pastoral position.
Martin completed parochial school and attended two years of high school at Concordia College in Seward. He finished high school and two years of college at St. Paul’s College in Concordia, MO, (taking pre-ministerial courses). He later attended Concordia Theology Seminary in St. Louis, MO, where he graduated in 1950.
During 1946 to 48, he interned at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Twin Falls, ID. There, he served as a parochial schoolteacher for grades 1 through 5, (in one room). He was also an assistant to the pastor, the youth advisor, and did various other parish duties. While there . . . he met his future bride, Lovila Ann
Neumann. It was while he was being introduced to the choir members upon his arrival, that the pastor suggested . . . that ‘Martin’, should be addressed as ‘Mr.’ Heinicke during his tenure in Twin Falls. A young female ’voice’ quickly popped up from the back of the choir. “Pastor . . . we don’t call a young kid ‘mister’ here in Idaho!”
Spending 2 years (instead of the usual one year of training), he fell-in-love with her, and they became engaged. . . . One problem: the school rules were very strict. Students could only become engaged during the last semester of their senior year and married only after graduation. Martin and Lovila did not meet this ‘criteria’. With 2 years of schooling left, Martin returned to St. Louis and spent the 3rd year getting clearances from officials to be married and therefore, ‘change the rules’. After obtaining final approvals, they were married June 17, 1949. This was MUCH earlier than ever allowed.
Martin graduated in 1950, from the seminary. After graduation, the young couple moved to their first parish in Molalla, OR. He served as Pastor for Grace Lutheran church and hand-crafted all the church furniture so they could worship and celebrate Christ. It was a brand-new church building, but it was completely empty. He crafted the alter, lecterns, chancel, pews, baptismal font, and podium. He even made a stained-glass window for them (in later days).
Two years later the national Lutheran Church was seeking pastoral volunteers to fill their quota for military chaplains. Since he had been ‘draft exemption’ in WWII he felt an obligation to respond. He was accepted and in May 1952 he received his commission in the US Army and orders to Ft. Ord, CA. Four months later he was in Korea where he spent some 16 months before assignment to Ft. Lawton, WA, with duties in the antiaircraft units surrounding Seattle. While there, they adopted their daughter, Ruth. Orders took them to Germany. In 1958 he asked to be discharged and moved to Ashton, Id. There he continued his military career with the Idaho National Guard. In 1960 the family moved to Rawlins, WY, where he pastored a congregation as well as three small mission churches in the area.
He transferred to the Wyoming National Guard and after a year the unit was activated in 1961 with orders for Ft. Lewis, WA. When the unit was deactivated, he requested to main on active duty and continue assignment in Ft. Lewis. In 1964, the family received orders to move to France. They spent almost 3 years there until US troops were evicted from France. Martin was in charge of the army base closures and disposal of all ‘American/ military’ property.
One year at Ft Hamilton, NY and he got orders for Vietnam. While there, Lovila and Ruth spent time in Burley ID to be nearer to her family. Upon return to the States, Martin was assigned to Ft. Benning, GA with duty at various training schools. His final assignment there was as an instructor at the Infantry School and as a member of a special committee with the task of rewriting the Army Leadership Manual (FM101). He wrote two chapters dealing with the ethical and moral aspects of leadership.
In 1972, orders sent the family to Ft. Monmouth, NJ. While there he was promoted to Colonel and was assigned again to Ft. Lewis, WA.
In 1976, he retired after 24 years of military service. The family moved to Boise, ID where he assumed the role of pastor at St. Pauls Lutheran Church. In 1980, he was asked to be the pastor of a new mission church in east Boise. This congregation was later known as Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, he accepted. He was honored to serve this congregation for many years until he retired from 34 years pastoral services in 1989.
Martin is preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 64 years
(Lovila); 5 brothers; and 1 sister. He is survived by his brother Bill
(and his wife, Pat); his daughter, Ruth; four grandsons (Jeremy,
Elijah, Luke, and Marcus); four great-grandsons (Caleb, Kaden, Kyler, and Giovanni); and one great-granddaughter (Allie).
Memorials may be made to Lutheran World Relief or Beautiful
Savior Luther Church Scholarship Fund.
His memorial service will be held at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 11 a.m.
Interment will be at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery In Boise at a later date, yet to be determined. He will rest side-by-side with Lovila, until Christ calls them both into HIS heavenly home.