- Published: 19 December 2014
Martin Earl Kelsay, one of five children of Tennyson Earl and Fern Irene (Maxwell) Kelsay, was born January 25, 1950 in Sabetha, Kansas. He attended elementary school at Dawson, Nebraska and graduated from Southeast Nebraska Consolidated Schools in Stella, Nebraska in 1968. Martin then attended Peru State College graduating in 1972 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Industrial Technology. On September 27, 1969 Martin was married to Gail Stover at St. John Lutheran (Stone) Church near Auburn, Nebraska. They made their home in southeast Nebraska and were blessed with two sons, Joel and Andrew. The couple would later divorce. After college Martin enlisted in the United States 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 January 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 3000 trees on the property around their home. Martin was a proud member of American Legion Post #330 of Johnson, Nebraska and belonged to the Stella Community Church in Stella. On the morning of Thursday, December 11, 2014 Martin was rushed to the Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn. It was there he passed away, having reached the age of 64 years, 10 months, and 16 days. His parents and son Michael Berger preceded him in death. Martin is survived by his wife Dot of rural Stella; sons and daughtersin- law Joel and Trisha Kelsay of Auburn; Andrew and Tiffany Kelsay of Junction City, Kansas; 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, Texas; 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, December 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. Services were entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.