OBITUARY

Manfred G. Martin

June 7, 1935October 25, 2018

Manfred G. Martin, 83, of Overland Park, KS passed away October 25, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was born near Berlin, Germany on June 7, 1935 to Erwin and Irmgard Martin. Growing up, he decided to enter the construction industry and studied engineering. He emigrated to the U.S. on January 14, 1960 to escape communism. He lived in East Berlin, but worked in West Berlin. He would sneak bits of personal belongings into West Berlin over time and then never went back. Once in the U.S., he began working the masonry trade in Kansas City. He founded MGM Masonry in 1965 doing residential work. He grew to become one of the larger commercial masonry contractors in Kansas City. Notable projects include the KC Convention Center addition, Quality Hill apartments and Kansas Speedway. He retired in 2014 to travel the world with Christel. He loved everything soccer. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, traveling and family get-togethers. He always enjoyed being with friends. There were no strangers to him. He would strike up conversations with anybody, any time. He will be greatly missed by friends and family, alike. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Christel; sons, Chris (Bonnie), Alex, and Steve (Kerri); and grandchildren, Gavin, Erika and Darin. Visitation will be from 2-4pm on Saturday, November 10th at the McGilley & Hoge Chapel, 8024 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, KS followed by the memorial service at 4pm. Contributions can be made to the National Kidney Foundation.

  • FAMILY

  • Christel (Broszinsky) Martin, Wife
  • Chris Martin and his wife, Bonnie, Son
  • Alex Martin, Son
  • Steve Martin and his wife, Kerri, Son
  • Gavin Martin, Grandson
  • Erika Martin, Granddaughter
  • Darin Martin, Grandson

Services

  • Visitation Saturday, November 10, 2018
  • Memorial Service Saturday, November 10, 2018
REMEMBERING

Manfred G. Martin

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Annette Acton

November 9, 2018

Fred is truly a man I admired. I have lived across the street from him for 13 years and there was not a single time I can think of that we passed in which he did not have time to check in and see how I was doing. Even when passing on the street he always had a smile and wave. Talks with Fred were always a delight. One in particular that I always remember fondly was only a few years after I had moved in and Fred was locked out. I asked him to come down and wait inside, As we sat at my kitchen counter and had coffee and Madeline cookies. He amused me so. So intelligent, and a great sense of humor. Most of all I think of Fred as a kind man. One the kindest men I have ever met. A man so kind that he would do anything to help even a stranger down on their luck. Although he will be forever missed, I have also had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know his wife, children, and grandson well enough to know that the finest parts of Fred have been passed down multiple generations, for which we are all blessed.

Brad Mansfield

November 7, 2018

My mom called to let me know that Manfred Martin passed away. She called, because she knew it was important to me. She knew Manfred Martin had a significant and lasting impact on my life when I was a twenty something apprentice bricklayer working for MGM masonry.

I can still hear Mr. Martin saying to me; “Let me tell you something my friend” … and then he would say… “And you ARE my friend” followed by the sharing of some small bit of hard-won wisdom. This happened all throughout the time I worked for him. I could tell, that what he shared with me was not just some bit of dogma carelessly passed from one person to the next or even the dictates of higher authority blindly accepted, simply because it came from higher authority. What he shared, was a result of careful deliberation and hard work. I still remember one of his logical arguments in response to an ethical question I had. I remember it, because it impressed me so much that I memorized it. This one argument is not the point, there were many. The important thing is, his example taught me it‘s worth the effort to work things out for yourself and is the best way to gain understanding.

Brad Mansfield, Journeymen Bricklayer/Stone Mason, MGM Masonry, 1977-1982

Brad Mansfield

November 7, 2018

I remember a foremen on a job saying to me, “get your hammer and chisels and come with me.” He told me that an I-beam was supposed to go into this pilaster but was overlooked. A costly mistake. The pilaster was filled with concrete and was well cured. I would have to cut out, by hand the cavity where the I-beam would sit. I was well into the job when I happened to notice a pair of boots right next to me. When I looked up to see who owned those boots, my stress level shot right up because it was him, Mr. MGM Masonry himself. He looked down at me and said, “If I had to do that, I think I’d quit this job.” He smiled as he walked away. I’ll never forget it. With just a couple words, he put me at ease and showed, that he appreciated what I was doing. I worked harder. He could have been hopping mad because a good portion of my pay that day was a loss on that job. If he had spewed rage, I probably would have gone home stressed, worried and tired. Instead I went home feeling good and grateful to be working… for Mr. Martin. That’s leadership!

I have to say that Mr. Martin demanded your best. But I got a lot more back than just good pay:

While I was still an apprentice, he personally conducted evening classes. I did not get paid to be there and he did not charge tuition. Not all that participated in those classes appreciated it, but it was huge benefit with exponential returns. We received personal attention and knowledge from a mentor whose pay scale we could not imagine, who experienced things we could not comprehend. But he did it for us! That’s investing in people, developing people!

Brad Mansfield, Journeymen Bricklayer/Stone Mason, MGM Masonry, 1977-1982

Brad Mansfield

November 7, 2018

When I had not worked for Mr. Martin very long, I went to him and told him I would be getting married soon, and would like some time off. I was worried about it because there were hundreds of other bricklayers (I’m an apprentice mind you) that could take my place. He said, “Come to the office and we’ll talk about it.” I was feeling uncertain about this and didn’t know what to expect. When I got to the office, he had me sit down. He got out a checkbook, wrote a check, handed it to me and said, “congratulations Brad, what days do you need off? I looked at the check and was stunned. That’s caring for people, understanding people!

During a slow time between jobs, he called a competitor and said I’m going to send you one of my bricklayers, and convinced them that having me work for them, as a temporary loan would be good for them. As a young man with a new wife and twin babies, this was an unexpected benefit that I am still grateful for today! That’s supporting people, appreciating people!

Looking back now, it is clear to me that as a young man I did not have what it took to understand what a superlative example of leadership Mr. Martin was. I didn’t start to figure it out until I had been in the Navy for a while. The Navy was always having training on leadership, management, professional development of people etc. Throughout all that training I found myself thinking of Mr. Martin and sharing examples of his leadership. There were so many.

After 27 years in the Navy, eleven tours of duty working with hundreds of people from all walks of life, Mr. Martin remained the finest example of leadership that I ever knew.

Brad Mansfield, Journeymen Bricklayer/Stone Mason, MGM Masonry, 1977-1982

FROM THE FAMILY