Martin Leo Birkenfeld Sr. Profile Photo
1946 Martin 2024

Martin Leo Birkenfeld Sr.

December 15, 1946 — May 18, 2024

Martin Leo Birkenfeld Sr. was born December 15th, 1946, in Amarillo, Texas to Dora and John Birkenfeld at the original St. Anthony’s Hospital in Amarillo.

Martin's life will be celebrated on Monday, May 27, 2024, at 11:00 am in the Schooler Funeral Home's Brentwood Chapel, 4100 S. Georgia, with his son Martin L. Birkenfeld Jr presiding.

 He attended Price College Catholic School but soon became fascinated with electronics and became an expert television repair technician. He served in the Texas Army National Guard where he specialized in communications technology. Martin married his wife Loretta on March 16th of 1968, and they opened a television repair shop which they operated for many years. Martin also sold weather instruments from his shop. In the late 1970’s, he became the local expert in the first facsimile machines used to transmit detailed weather maps, maintaining, and repairing machines used by the FAA and local television stations. During that same time, he worked at the Don Harrington Discovery Center as the assistant director, developing static displays and programming the weekly shows for thousands of patrons. He attended Amarillo College and earned an associate in science degree and West Texas State University where he earned a dual bachelor’s degree in biology and science education. He was a substitute teacher for Amarillo ISD and later taught science at Highland Park ISD and Alamo Catholic school. Martin moved over to Amarillo College where he ran the biology learning lab for the next 14 years. After retiring from AC, he drove a Greyhound bus for a few years.

Martin was an avid scientist and mechanical engineer. He studied biology, chemistry, astronomy, and meteorology. He compiled detailed local weather data for over 50 years and was a founding member of the Amarillo Astronomy Club. He built weather instruments from scratch and hand crafted a superior quality eight-inch diameter telescope. He loved planes and trains. Martin was a member of the Amarillo Radio Kontrol Society (ARKS), flying radio-controlled model planes as often as the weather permitted. He constructed an amazing HO scale model railroad at home and he and his models were featured on KACV’s “The Handle: Tiny Tracks” episode in 2019.

Martin loved his wife and family beyond measure and was often heard bragging about the quality of his 56-year marriage to Loretta.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Rose Marie Birkenfeld and Alice O’Brien, and brothers Howard Birkenfeld and Charles Birkenfeld.

Martin is survived by his wife of 56 years Loretta, a son Martin Birkenfeld Jr. and wife Heather, and a daughter Teresa O'Reilly and husband Justin. He was loved by and adored his grandchildren, great grandchildren, and many other wonderful people that he considered family.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, May 27, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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