Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Rev. John F. Scheck, Ph.D., was called to his eternal rest on December 24, 2022. He was
92 years old.
John was born September 7, 1930, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the only child of Edna Agatha
Kunde and John Frederick Scheck II. John graduated from Concordia High School,
Milwaukee (1944), and Junior College (1950); and Concordia Seminary St. Louis (1955). In
August 1955, he was ordained as a Lutheran minister and called as Assistant Pastor and
Minister of Music at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon. During his early
career at Concordia College, John taught history and religion at both the high school and
college. John was the high school chorus director when he wrote the text for “Christi Crux
est Mihi Lux” (“Out of the Darkness”) as a musical signature. After completing his
postgraduate work, John returned to Concordia and taught exclusively at the college level as
a full-time, and then adjunct, professor until his retirement in 1998. The courses he taught
included American History, American Thought and Culture, Religion in American Life, Church
History and Philosophy.
John earned both his Master’s degree in American History with honors (1961) and his
Doctoral degree in American History with honors (1969) from the University of Oregon. He
received a National Defense Education Act Fellowship from the University of Oregon (1966-
69), as well as a grant from the American Colonial Dames Resident in Oregon (1968), a
fellowship for postdoctoral study at the University of Illinois from the National Endowment for
the Humanities (1974), and an appointment as a panelist from the Endowment (1975-1977).
John published several pieces derived from his doctoral dissertation; in addition, several of
his works were used throughout the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and in the Northwest
District’s centennial publication, “God Opens Doors.”
John was married to B. Joanne Dinger and later divorced. Together they had children John
Christopher Scheck (Lori), Jay Scheck (Teresa), and Jennifer Scheck; two grandchildren;
and two great-grandchildren. In 1992, John married Marianne (Nan) Schmidt Marth, and
they lived in Salem. In his marriage to Nan, John welcomed stepchildren Paul Marth, Gloria
Marth, Natalie Osburn (Oz), Peter Marth; four step-grandchildren; and two step-greatgrandchildren.
At the time of his death, John had been happily married to Nan for 30-plus years. For more
than 50 years, he was a volunteer choir director at the churches they attended.
John is preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife Nan, his three children,
two grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, four stepchildren, four step-grandchildren, and
A memorial service will be held at St. Mark Lutheran Church (790 Marion St. NE, Salem, OR
97301) on Saturday, January 7, at 11 a.m. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, please
support Marion Polk Food Share or Mercy Corps.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.” – Jeremiah 17:7 (ESV)
Serving the Lord and His Church,
Rev. Dr. Paul Linnemann
Northwest District President