Dr. Earl R. Stuckenbruck, minister, missionary, educator, made the transition to his heavenly home October 13, 2008. He was born in 1916 at Lake City, Iowa, a son of the manse. His father, mother, Carroll Orin and Olivia May Stuckenbruck, and only sibling, Harry, were ordained ministers, serving Christian Churches in the Midwest and Massachusetts. An honor student, Earl was the recipient of the coveted Summerfield Scholarship at the University of Kansas where he earned the A.B. degree in psychology and philosophy. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Psi Chi, and to Sachem, “a distinction given to men who were making progress in their particular field of endeavor, who were leading in student affairs, and who have made valuable contributions to the university.” A Master of Divinity degree was earned in classical honors at Butler University School of Religion where he was an assistant in the Missions Department. He was elected to Theta Phi. Post graduate work was pursued at Birmingham University in England, Basel University in Switzerland and Karl Eberhardt University in Tuebingen, Germany. Dr. Stuckenbruck served as youth minister of First Christian Church, Columbus, Indiana, and minister of First Christian Church, Montpelier, Indiana. At one time he was interim minister at Grandview Christian Church in Johnson City and preached occasionally for other churches in the area. He was also involved in prison ministry. He was an advocate for Christian unity and included the three streams of the Restoration Movement in his ministry overseas. “Peace” was one of his favorite words. On his calling card were printed words of Jesus: “Peace I leave with you.” John 14:27 When he was present where there was misunderstanding or friction, he would have a kind, incisive word or humorous comment to ease the situation. In 1944, he married Ottie Mearl Lawrence and two years later they were commissioned by the European Evangelistic Society to search out a university base for an academic and evangelistic center in Europe. The University City of Tuebingen, Germany, was the recommendation of all those consulted. He started The Institut zur Erforschung des Urchristentums (Institute for Research in Christian Origins) and a church, Christliche Gemeinde. Today the Stuckenbruck Library at the Institute is a reminder of his continued invested interest. He is author of a number of articles and two dissertations: Biblical Importance of the Church and The Joel Quotation in Acts 2. In particular, his interest in Christian origins expressed itself in over four decades of teaching, study, and research on Jewish traditions that shaped the New Testament. In 1968, the family returned to the U.S. and Dr. Stuckenbruck taught Bible, Greek and sometimes German at Milligan College until his retirement. He was the first to occupy the Joel and Mabel Stephens Chair on the campus. In addition, he was a recipient of the Fide et Amore Distinguished Service Citation. At Emmanuel School of Religion, where he was a temporary lecturer, he received the James A. Garfield Award, the Seminary’s highest honor. Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis honored him with a Doctor of Divinity degree. A Festschrift, FAITH IN PRACTICE, studies in the book of Acts, was published in his honor by the European Evangelistic Society. Dr. Stuckenbruck loved music and was known in the area for his renditions on the musical saw and the glass harp (musical goblets) for church and community programs. At home, one could often hear him singing, “Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to Thee”. He loved the church and was a member of First Christian Church in Johnson City were he was “elder emeritus”, having served as board chairman, Sunday school teacher, on the Missions Committee and in other leadership roles. He was a member of the Mr. And Mrs. Sunday School Class. In 2006, the church presented him with a gift, “in appreciation of years given serving Christ’s Kingdom.” During his months of confinement, Dr. Stuckenbruck was able to receive televised services of First Christian Church, the televised International Sunday school lessons, IN THE WORD, by Drs. William Gwaltney and Henry Webb and the recorded services of Grandview Christian Church for which he was most grateful. Also, the family would like to express deepest appreciation for the ministry of Amedisys Hospice Services and with special thanks to Christie Pohto, Dottie Bentley, Sue Ann Hawkins, Rhonda Willis, April Grindstaff and Donna Jenkins – and as well the chaplains and others. Dr. Stuckenbruck was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. He is preceded in death by his parents, C.O. and May Stuckenbruck, his brother, Harry and a granddaughter, Carin May Stuckenbruck. He is survived by his wife, Ottie Mearl, of 64 years, and four children: Earl Lee of Johnson City; Jane Perry, Johnson City; Dr. Dale and his wife, Heawon, New York, and Dr. Loren and his wife, Lois, Durham, England. Seven grandchildren: Shawn Stuckenbruck Hatfield, Angela Perry, Orin and Erin Stuckenbruck, Daniella, Hanno and Nathan Stuckenbruck. Three great grandchildren: Aaron, Arial and Allison. One nephew, John Stuckenbruck, and his wife, Pam, Springfield, MA and their children. Mark, Scott and Brianna. A memorial celebration of the life of Earl Stuckenbruck will be held at First Christian Church, Johnson City, Sunday, October 19. The family will receive friends from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m., followed by a commemorative service at 4:00 p.m., with Dr. Donald Jeanes and Dr. Timothy Wallingford officiating. Dr. Henry Hill will conduct the graveside service at 10 a.m. Monday morning at Washington County Memory Gardens. Those wishing to attend the graveside service are requested to meet at the funeral home by 9:30 a. m. Active pallbearers are Joe Knisley, Tom Hornsby, Dr. William Boswell, Barry Tait, Bernie Gray and David Holben. Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Charles Allen, Sam Greer Frank Jarrett, Dr. W.T. Mathes, Harry Young and the Mr. And Mrs. Sunday School class. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the European Evangelistic Society, P.O. Office Drawer 90150, East Point, GA 30364.
Dr. Earl R. Stuckenbruck's first aquaintance with "singing steel" was with the flexitone when he and his brother Harry Stuckenbruck, performed with their mother, Olivia May Stuckenbruck in fun recitals using various instruments (including a broomstick). Besides the violin and trombone Dr. Stuckenbruck was infatuated after hearing the musical saw performed by a traveling evangelist in Topeka, Kansas in the late 1930's. Ths evangelist helped him get his first saw. Dr. Stuckenbruck has perfromed in numerous events in Germany, to where he was sent after the was by the European Evangelistic Society (http://www.eesatlanta.org) There he founded an Institute of Church Origins and a Church as well. Everyone was always eager to hear him at special occasions. After coming back to the United States in 1968 he performed at Milligan College, Tennessee and the sourrounding communities freuqently for church and community events. Besdies inspiring his son, Dale, to pick up the saw while he traveled to New York City to perfrom with the Roslyn Artists String Quartet in works for saw and String Quartet. Dr. Stuckenbruck has developed a most unique style and technique for the instrument that has proven its worth by others who have had the priviledge to know him. His repertoire consists of mostly singable works that have become favorites over many years. His son has carried this tradition imbedded by his father's love for this instrument.
Dr. Earl Stuckenbruck, 1916-2008
Institue for the Study of Church Origins which also contains the Stuckenbruck Library, click on the institue photo
Tübinger Marktplaty, click on the pic to hear the bells from the Rathaus