Martin H. Steckel (“Marty”), of Decatur, Georgia, passed away Saturday, February 4, 2023, following a brief illness.

Marty was a loving husband, father, brother, and friend. A lengthy storyteller and man of great humor, he was a sports enthusiast, loved his mother’s home-grown tomatoes and strawberry rhubarb pie, and was a lifelong rock hound. He loved sharing stories and never said anything in thirty seconds he couldn’t say in five minutes. Marty was also a person who never shied away from helping someone in need. When he wasn’t busy giving someone a hard time, he was doing everything he could to give them an easier one.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, to Dr. Richard Steckel and Blanche Hall, he was the first of four children and born during World War II. He spent the war years with his mother and beloved grandparents in Eatonton, Georgia. In the 1950’s the Steckel family settled on a 100-acre working farm in Bloomfield, New York. In addition to working the farm, his father worked as a psychiatrist at the state psychiatric hospital in Rochester.

Marty attended Duke University in the early 1960s where he initially met his wife, Karen “KK” Kovac, before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps and serving several years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Marty later received his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Georgia, where he served as a resident monitor in the football players’ dormitory. At UGA he roomed with future Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham, becoming lifelong friends after bonding during the inaugural year of the Governor’s Intern Program.

Following his time at UGA, he had the opportunity to serve as a White House Intern working with the Postmaster General and other cabinet members on important issues of the time. There he was fortunate to reconnect with KK while she was working in a management development program with the U.S. Postal Service. The young couple enjoyed three exciting years in the nation’s capital, even attending dinner at the White House. In Washington, DC., Marty found both his love of labor law and his future wife.

Marty was a life-long fan of music, especially the blues – Jimmy Reed, B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland, Howlin’ Wolf, he loved them all and spent many a night at the Royal Peacock on Auburn Avenue in the 1960s. He shared his love of music with all, especially his children, whether it was Santana, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, or Mudcat. Marty also loved sports and was an avid tennis player and golfer for most of his life. He organized several golf tournaments at Druid Hills Golf Club as fundraisers to support his interests. Marty served on the board of several educational and medical charities, including the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta.

Marty and Karen enjoyed many international trips over the years including to China, Hong Kong, and several European countries to visit family members and tour historic landmarks. Avid lovers of World War II history, a thrilling highlight of their travels came when they travelled to Normandy and saw the spot of the first field hospital of the D-Day invasion where his father served as a field surgeon.

Marty practiced as an attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, for approximately 50 years. He enjoyed professional success as a labor and employment law attorney. He was a partner with his firm, Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Schneider & Stine, P.C., for more than thirty years.

Marty is survived by his wife Karen; sons Peter and R.T.; daughter Sukey; grandchildren Zoe and Simon; brother Richard; sisters Christina and Laura. He will be missed by his family, law partners and colleagues, and a very large circle of friends.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday, February 21st at 2:30pm at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, followed by a reception at Druid Hills Golf Club for family, friends, and colleagues.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Atlanta Neuroscience Foundation (formerly the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta). Visit here to make a donation online or you can do so by mail to 3200 Downwood Circle, NW, Suite 550, Atlanta, GA 30327.

Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church is located at 1660 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta, GA 30307. Please park in the Fishburne Parking Deck next to the main church building. For more information or to view the livestream of the service, visit

Druid Hills Golf Club is located at 740 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30307. For more information and directions, call 404.377.1766.