Cover photo for Martin Sterkel's Obituary
1948 Martin 2022

Martin Sterkel

November 4, 1948 — April 17, 2022

My beloved Husband, and Uncle, Brother and friend Marty Sterkel passed away on April 17, 2022 in Grand Junction, Colorado near his home in Montrose.  Martin Alan Sterkel (Marty) was born on November 4, 1948 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, although he grew up in Denver, CO.  In 2014, Marty retired, and after I retired we moved to Montrose, CO where we enjoyed fly-fishing the many beautiful rivers throughout the San Juan Mountains and Western Slope of Colorado.

Please see below for information on where Marty wanted donations in lieu of flowers sent – his legacy is his scholarship fund.

Marty earned a Bachelors of Science Degree from Colorado State University, College of Forestry and Natural Resources; he then earned a Masters of Arts Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Adult education-Planning and Urbanism. He served as “adjunct” faculty at College of St. Mary’s in Omaha, NE and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

He served as President of the Nebraska Recreation and Parks Association receiving the organizations highest awards, he received so many professional awards and honors, there are too many to list.  Marty retired after 33 years with the National Park Service as Associate Director of Natural Resources, Science and Partnerships in the Midwest Region, Omaha, Nebraska.

Marty worked tirelessly in the non-profit world.  He was President of a non-profit 501c3 for 28 years leading workshops for youth in waterfowl and upland hunting and fishing – he volunteered with Ducks Unlimited, Nebraska Women Outdoors, Pheasants Forever and Nebraska Duck Callers Association.  Marty was known for being the “best Supervisor in the world”, and was known for being the most knowledgeable, kind and helpful professional to all.

Marty was no stranger to anyone, he made friends immediately with everyone he knew and so many adored his beautiful, kind spirit.  He was a wonderful storyteller; so many friends and family remember his stories; stories that will carry so many through their grief.  He was exceptionally intelligent and could remember everything he ever read with amazing clarity.

I knew no one who met him that didn’t respect and love him.  People became entranced with his interesting and beautiful presence.  His wit and sense of humor delighted his friends and family, neighbors, coworkers, friends and strangers.  He was really something.

Marty loved his sports and was a huge Colorado Avalanche fan, Rockies and Bronco fan, and of course Nebraska Cornhusker fan.  Marty was an avid fisherman, and an avid small game hunter.  He spent years hunting and fishing in the beautiful sand hills of Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska and Colorado.

Marty is preceded in death by his Mother Nancy and Father Floyd of Denver, CO. He is survived by his wife Sandy, his sister Kathy Stoddard, and niece Julie Bacon (Keith) of Scottsdale, AZ.  His niece Beth Hill (Chris) and grandnephews Sean and Connor of Denver, CO.  His in-laws absolutely adored Uncle Marty and he is survived by brother-in-law Jeff Poole (Annette), sisters-in-law Terry Lee, Lauren Poole (Mike), Sheila Poole,(Dan) and Michelle Hart (Brad), and numerous extended family on both sides.

Marty was a man of incredible strength and courage – he had the heart of a lion.  I was blessed to be his wife.  Anything wonderful or strong that I possess, I got from this amazing man and marriage.  I am so grateful for the time I spent with him.  He was awesome.

A scholarship fund in Marty’s name was established through Western National Park Association (WNPA) at the time of his retirement with his good friend and former Regional Director Ernie Quintana.  The primary focus of the fund remains providing applicants assistance in advancing their education and becoming part of the National Park Service family.

Please, in lieu of flowers, please donate to the fund in Marty’s memory by sending a check to:

Update on checks for scholarship fund.  In Marty’s memory, make check payable to Western National Parks Association and write “Quintana-Sterkel Scholarship Fund” in the memo line. Address is Western National Parks Association, 12880 N. Vistoso Village Drive, Tucson, AZ  85755 – (520)-622-1999.  You can also go to, and let them know you are donating to the Quintana-Sterkel Scholarship Fund.  Marty would appreciate this so very much.

A Celebration of Marty’s life will be held in Montrose, CO on Saturday, July 23rd at 5pm at Bridges Golf and Country Club.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martin Sterkel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Starts at 5:00pm (Mountain time)

Bridges Golf and Country Club (Montrose, CO)


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