Martin Earl Kelsay, 64, of Auburn, one of five children of Tennyson Earl and Fern Irene (Maxwell) Kelsay, died Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. He was born Jan. 25, 1950 in Sabetha, KS.
He attended elementary school at Dawson and graduated from Southeast Nebraska Consolidated Schools in Stella in 1968. Martin then attended Peru State College graduating in 1972 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Industrial Technology.
On Sept. 27, 1969 Martin married Gail Stover at St. John Lutheran (Stone) Church near Auburn. They made their home in southeast Nebraska and were blessed with two sons, Joel and Andrew. The couple later divorced.
After college Martin enlisted in the U.S. Army. After his two year enlistment was over he reenlisted, spending a part of his tour overseas in Germany. Martin received his honorable discharge in December 1978 and returned to southeast Nebraska to begin farming.
Martin sold his farm equipment in 1989, and moved to New Mexico to serve as a hunting guide with Cougar Mountain Guide Service. From 1990 to 1993, he worked for Drake Construction back in Nebraska. It was September of 1993 when Martin opened Hunters Headquarters in Auburn. During his over 21 years as owner/operator of the business he helped many customers locally and in many other states with their hunting, fishing and trapping needs.
On Jan. 3, 1998 Martin was united in marriage to Dorothy (Leiby) Stepongzi at their home in Auburn. His family grew at that time by two more children, Michael and Stephanie. Martin and Dot made their home in Auburn until moving to a new home they built on his parents’ home place near Stella early in 2006.
Martin was an avid outdoorsman and a dedicated conservationist. He was a staunch supporter of the National Rifle Association, and a member of the National Bowhunters’ Association and the Pioneer Long Rifles. With the help of his family, he had planted over 3,000 trees on the property around their home. Martin was a proud member of American Legion Post #330 of Johnson, and belonged to the Stella Community Church.
On the morning of Thursday, Dec. 11, Martin was rushed to the Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and a son, Michael Berger.
Martin is survived by his wife, Dot, of rural Stella; sons and daughters-in-law, Joel and Trisha Kelsay, of Auburn; Andrew and Tiffany Kelsay, of Junction City, KS; daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie and Mike Gerdes, of Auburn; grandchildren, Megan Gerdes, Dustin Gerdes, Alex Gonsalves, Garrett Kelsay, Gracelyn Kelsay; sister and brother-in-law, Connie and Jim Merrill, of Conroe, TX; brothers and sisters-in-law Dan Kelsay, of Raymond; Steve and Jackie Kelsay, of Auburn; Jim and Shirley Kelsay, of Falls City; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many, many friends.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 at Hemmingsen Funeral Home in Auburn, officiated by Rev. Kyle Paustian. Susie Hogrefe accompanied solos performed by Allyn Remmers. Casket bearers were Alex Gonsalves, Dustin Gerdes, Garrett Kelsay, Tony Hector, Jim Biaggi, and Joseph Erramouspe. Megan Gerdes, Gracelyn Kelsay, and Les Gossman were honorary bearers.
Military honors were provided by American Legion Post #330 of Johnson and the Nebraska National Guard Honor Guard. Martin’s body was cremated following the service and scattering of ashes will be at a later date.