Ottie Mearl Lawrence Stuckenbruck exchanged her earthly life for a heavenly one on Monday, September 28, 2020. She was born April 29, 1922 to the late Orton S. and Rena Ardell Wallace Lawrence in Bibb County, Alabama. Her parents died when she was quite young. She grew up in Florida, graduated from Pinkerton High School, Midway, Kentucky, a girls’ boarding school, and Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana, where she met and married her husband, Earl R. Stuckenbruck.
Early in life Ottie Mearl dedicated her life to Christian service. She started a Christian Endeavor group on the Pinkerton High School campus and at Butler University. She and a friend started a Student Volunteer Chapter from which nine couples went out as missionaries to six different countries. She taught Bible in the Indianapolis public schools on released time.
The Stuckenbrucks pioneered a work under the auspices of the European Evangelistic Society in the university city of Tübingen, Germany. They established an Institute for Research in Christian Origins, now associated with the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and started a church, the Christliche Gemeinde. In addition, Ottie Mearl and Hilda Achstetter, a German friend, started a German-International Women’s Club to accommodate the interests and concerns of foreign spouses of professors and students who came to do research and study at the University.
The Stuckenbrucks returned to the U.S. in 1968 after 22 years abroad and settled in Johnson City where her husband taught at Milligan College. Ottie Mearl was active in the women’s work at First Christian Church and a member of the Mr. and Mrs. Sunday School Class. She assisted in the beginning of an Appalachian Christian Women’s Retreat and was a writer for FIRST LADIES, a publication for women in the church. She was also an assistant in the English Department at Science Hill High School for 12 years.
Ottie Mearl loved her family and dedicated her life to rearing their four children. She and her husband were grateful for the support of teachers and friends, and especially the church, as the children made the transition from German to American schools and life.
Classical and Gospel music were her passion. As young children, she and her sisters, Peacie and Gertha, sang as a trio. After that, except for singing in church choirs and an occasional solo, she was in the audience. However, she assisted their four children in becoming professional musicians.
Ottie Mearl is listed in Who’s Who among Southern Women. Together with her husband, she received the James A. Garfield Award from Emmanuel Christian Seminary and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary at Butler University. A Festschrift, FAITH IN PRACTICE, edited by David A. Fiensy and William D. Howen, was published in honor of Earl and Ottie Mearl Stuckenbruck. She is also the author of COMMITTED UNTO US: THE STUCKENBRUCKS’ STORY (2015).
In addition to her parents, Ottie Mearl is preceded in death by her husband, Early Roy Stuckenbruck; a son, Earl Lee Stuckenbruck; two sisters, Peacie Marinda Latham and Eleanor Inell Cochran; two brothers, Elton and J. B. Lawrence; and two granddaughters, Carin May Stuckenbruck and Angelica Grace Perry.
Survivors include her children, Vivian Jane Stuckenbruck-Perry, Johnson City; Dr. Dale Lynn and wife Heawon Kim Stuckenbruck, New York City; Dr. Loren Theo and wife Lois Loban Stuckenbruck, Munich, Germany; grandchildren: Shawn Stuckenbruck Hatfield, Orin and Erin Stuckenbruck; Daniella, Johann, and Nathanael Stuckenbruck; great grandchildren: Aaron, Ariel and Allison; and one sister, Gertha Louverne Scott.
The graveside service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Wednesday, September 30, 2020 in Washington County Memory Gardens with Rev. Ethan Magness, officiating. Those who plan on attending the service, are asked to meet at the cemetery by 10:50 A.M. There will be a more formal memorial service at a later date.
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In-lieu-of flowers the family would like donations to be made to European Evangelistic Society, https://eesinc.org/about; Emmanuel Christain Seminary at Milliagan University, 1 Walker Dr. Johnson City, TN 37601 or Music Department at Milligan University, 101 Neth Dr. Milligan College, TN 37682.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.appfh.net
Appalachian Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Johnson City, is honored to serve the Stuckenbruck family. (928-6111)