Martin Otto Braeske
Martin Otto Braeske passed away peacefully on his own terms on October 19, 2019. He was born in Englewood, New Jersey on April 14, 1939 to German immigrants Martha and Paul Braeske, and grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey with three brothers Alfred, George and Arnold. He attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, IL where he was editor of the school newspaper and graduated with a BA in Philosophy in 1962. He married Beverly Belle Schuhart in 1963 and moved to St. Louis where they lived for the rest of his life, a majority of which was spent in a beautiful brick home in University City.
He was passionate about making St. Louis a better place and held many and varied positions throughout his career. These included: assistant director of the Missouri Council on Criminal Justice for Region 5 (1967-1969), planner for the Southwest Illinois Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (1969-1972), program director for the Office of Community Development in the Department of Human Resources of St. Louis County (1972), chief of the community planning division of the St. Louis County Department of Planning (1976-1991), and planning supervisor for St. Louis Public schools from 1991-2007.
In retirement he taught urban planning and public policy at St. Louis University. Martin was an active member of the University United Methodist Church in University City from 1965 to present, and enjoyed leading small groups exploring theology and how religion fits into our world today. In his private life he enjoyed meeting friends and colleagues at Cunetto House of Pasta, riding his motorcycle, collecting stamps, taking pictures, pickled herring, Braunschweiger on rye bread, a good Blutwurst, half-dill pickles, and eating as much butter as possible (“the fat’s the flavor!”).
He was preceded in death by his parents Martha and Paul Braeske, his brothers Alfred and George, his parents-in-law Henrietta and Russell Schuhart, sister-in-law Inna, and he and Beverly’s first baby in 1966. He is survived by his wife of 56 years Beverly; his children Chris (Stacy), Steven, and Sarah (Tom); his brother Arnold, sisters-in-law Grace and Susan, two nieces Kristine and Patricia, a nephew Michael, and 7 grandchildren. He battled a lung condition as the result of a drug interaction for over 10 years, longer than any doctor ever imagined. In his final days he was able to visit with numerous friends and family and enjoyed every minute. His parting thoughts to his grandchildren were to be kind, be thoughtful, stand up for people who can’t, and try to make a positive difference in this world.
A memorial service will be held at University United Methodist Church, 6901 Washington Ave., University City, MO 63130 on Saturday November 23, 2019 starting at 11:30am with refreshments and fellowship right after. In lieu of flowers please make donations to his church, or the scholarship that is being established in his name for urban planning and public policy students at St. Louis University.