Cover photo for Martha "Marty" (Powers) Schimmelpfenneg's Obituary
Martha "Marty" (Powers) Schimmelpfenneg Profile Photo

Martha "Marty" (Powers) Schimmelpfenneg

March 2, 1939 — December 5, 2023

Battle Creek

Martha "Marty" (Powers) Schimmelpfenneg

Martha “Marty” Powers Schimmelpfenneg, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend, passed away on December 5, 2023, at the age of 84 surrounded by her most cherished. Although her lengthy and courageous battle against Lewy body dementia affected her memory as time went on, Marty always knew she was loved.

Marty was surrounded by love from birth. Born in Boston on March 2, 1939, to a single mother who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving up her beloved baby girl for adoption. Those blessed to love her next were Francis and Dorothy Powers Masselink, who adopted and cared for her in Winthrop, Massachusetts during her youngest years. Marty found her final childhood home at age eight in Nashville, Michigan with loving adoptive parents Horace, a judge, and Mable Powers, a nurse and her adoptive brother Joe Powers. It was there that Marty met her cousin, Kay Montgomery Collier. More than a cousin, Kay became like a sister and was Marty’s lifelong best friend.

Following in her mother’s footsteps, Marty studied to be a nurse at the University of Michigan after graduating from Nashville High School. She earned her BSN, RN in 1960 and later her Masters from Western Michigan University in 1982. It was during her undergrad years, following a Michigan vs MSU game at East Lansing, that the rest of Marty’s life began. Taking the Greyhound bus back to campus, Marty sat down next to a handsome young man with a noticeably long name. Ken and Marty’s meeting was the start of a 65-year love story, spending 63 years as Mr. and Mrs. Schimmelpfenneg.

Wed at the Methodist Church in Charlotte, Michigan on September 11, 1960, Ken and Marty built their life together in Battle Creek, Michigan. Their daughters, Nancy and Carol, were Marty’s pride and joy. While the roles of wife and mom always remained her priority, Marty had many passions in life. She was a nurse, teacher, administrator, poet, artist, gardener, Christmas pastry maker, social justice activist, spiritual warrior, Commissioned Parish Nurse Minister, volunteer, friend and confidant to everyone that she met. Among her talents it was found that she had an uncanny knack for naming dogs, such as Homerun, Tag-A-Long, and Stormy, to name a few. She loved all dogs and breeds but Molly, a King Cavalier Charles Spaniel, was her special girl.

Marty didn’t let a moment of life pass her by, taking advantage of all the gifts and adventures this world offers. She never hesitated to take the opportunity to travel to Boston and New York City to visit her daughters and grandson. However, while she enjoyed experiencing the hustle and bustle of the city life, she truly loved the beauty and peace of Hawaii. She exuded the “aloha spirit” in every aspect of her life and was never happier than when on one of her many trips with Ken to the islands. Marty was always drawn to the ocean and water. From her walks on the black sand beaches of the Big Island to the waves of Lake Michigan, and from dipping her toes into the Atlantic to swimming laps at the Y, Marty loved the vibrant colors and the freedom of water. It was in waterfalls, rainbows, flowers and volcanoes that Marty saw God’s beauty. It was in Marty herself that we all saw God’s beauty. Marty leaves behind a legacy of grace, stewardship and love.

She is survived by her husband, Ken Schimmelpfenneg, two daughters, Nancy (Christopher Hanlon) and Carol (Bill Sandow) and her much loved grandson, Maximillian Schimmelpfenneg Hanlon.

Family and friends are invited to meet, gather and reminisce with the family at the First Congregational Church, 145 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017 on December 15, 2023 from 11 am to 12 pm, with a Celebration of Life Service immediately following, at the First Congregational Church of Battle Creek from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm. Following the Celebration of Life Service there will be a Luncheon in the Fellowship Atrium. The burial will be a private family time.

Although she had a great personal love for gardening and flowers, Marty would have been so very pleased if instead you were able to make a contribution in her name to one of the organizations that were so near and dear to her heart: the First Congregational Church of Battle Creek, the Art Center of Battle Creek, or Calhoun County Animal Center.

Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, December 15, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life

Friday, December 15, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Committal & inurnment

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