Agnes (Storck) Nettelbeck, 1904–1982
Agnes Marie Storck was born 9 March 1904 in St. Louis and baptized Friederike Marie Emma Agnes at St. John’s Lutheran Church. She was the second of seven children born to Ida Frerck, 1881–1957, and William A. Storck, 1876–1951.
Agnes grew up in a loving and devout Lutheran home with her brothers, Erwin and Herbert, and her sisters: Erna, Bertha, Florence, and Virginia. They lived at 4209 Bates Street in a house on the property of Concordia Cemetery. Their father was the sexton of the cemetery, having taken the job in 1908 upon the death of his father-in-law, Henry Frerck. All the children had tasks at the cemetery: the boys helped their father by digging graves and maintaining the grounds, and the girls cleaned the floors and the beautiful stained-glass windows of the mausoleum of Rev. C. F. W. Walther. Agnes learned to drive a car on the cemetery lanes.
Along with her sisters and brothers, Agnes attended St. John’s Lutheran School. In 1921, at the age of seventeen, she was living at Concordia Seminary on South Jefferson Street and employed as a “servant.” She attended the Winthrop School of Nursing and began her career as a licensed practical nurse, often serving as a private duty nurse in St. Louis.
In September 1939, Agnes married Henry Nettelbeck, a native of Colorado, and they moved to Monte Vista. She soon became pregnant, fell ill, and was hospitalized. Henry deserted her and returned to his mother’s farm. Agnes’ father traveled by train to bring her back to the family home in St. Louis. On 8 June 1940, she gave birth to a son in St. Louis, christened Leonard Erwin, who lived only five hours.
In January 1947, she responded to a notice in the personals section of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, placed by a mother seeking “a couple with nurse” to adopt her three-month-old daughter. Agnes was forty-two years old, separated from a husband who had deserted her, and whose infant son had died. Now she had found a baby in need of her love and care. Agnes raised her daughter while working as a nurse at the Presbyterian Home for Children in Farmington, and in St. Louis at Missouri Pacific Hospital, the Lutheran Altenheim, the Good Samaritan Home, and other nursing homes. She also took in people who needed lodging: foster babies and girls, an aged neighbor, and a young man from Nebraska during his student-teaching year at Hope Lutheran School. There was always someone occupying the upstairs front bedroom at 5474 Morganford Road!
Her life was not easy, and her health was poor, but she never lost her faith or her compassion for children, the sick, and the aged. Agnes died on her birthday, on 9 March 1982. She is buried in Concordia Cemetery, next to her beloved infant son.
Written by Angelynn Gross, Agnes’s daughter
© 2020, St. Louis Genealogical Society
Agnes (Storck) Nettelbeck
Photo in the collection of Angelynn Gross
Used with permission
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Last Modified: 29-Jul-2020 11:49