Skip to content


Every other month we get an update on what’s been happening recently at ourImmanuel Lutheran High School, College and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

God has long blessed the CLC through teacher Mark Kranz, who is retiring after forty years of service in synod schools, including the last twenty-three at ILC. He reports having thoroughly enjoyed all of the locations and congregations in which God has placed him. He is thankful for his supportive wife who has shared his adventures and struggles. He is amazed at the ability of God to make use of such a vessel as himself, shortcomings and all, in His precious Kingdom work.


God molded Mark into the servant He desired through the many gifts and experiences He granted him. The son of an Army father, he was born at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. By the time he was seventeen he had lived in seventeen different houses. As a pilot, Mark’s father moved the family often while managing a number of airports in the Midwest. Mark became a member of the CLC family as a 5th grade student at Immanuel-Mankato, graduating high school from there in 1980. By that time he had acquired a private pilot’s license and intended to receive training to become a commercial pilot. However, after being influenced by some Christian friends, God led him to a pivotal decision to attend ILC and prepare for the teaching ministry instead.

Upon college graduation in 1984, Mark was called to fill a teaching vacancy at Grace Lutheran in Valentine, Nebraska. In the summer of 1988 he married Beth (nee Nolting). The couple was blessed with two sons, Matthew (1990) and Ethan (1992). Juliette Kranz, their first grandchild, was born on April 11, 2023. Mark also served the congregations of Holy Cross in Phoenix, Arizona, where he was their first teacher (1992-1996), and Luther Memorial in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (1996-2001). He became a professor at ILC in 2001.

Mark’s interests, experiences, and gifts have been used by God at ILC in many ways. A gifted musician himself, he was “instrumental,” along with Professor Joel Gullerud, in transforming the ILC pep band into a class taken for credit. Immanuel’s band is regarded as one of the best in the area and has become a staple at school sporting events, concerts, and Class Day festivities.

Mark has coached girls’ softball and volleyball, and was ILC’s athletic director from 2012 through 2022. His amiable demeanor towards coaches and officials has led many opponents to enjoy competing against the Lancers at our home contests.

Mark’s love of the outdoors, travel, and history meshed well with the classes he taught at ILC, including physical and cultural geography, American history, and social studies methods. Professors at Immanuel are expected to wear many hats, but some Mark has worn would not necessarily be known by many. He has been a faithful bus driver for decades, transporting sports teams and churchgoers countless times. He has served as both a high school and college class advisor. He has been the faculty secretary for over twenty years.

Students will, no doubt, miss his collection of ties, and his timely jokes that are either amusing or groan-worthy, and his profound knowledge of trivia. But I think they will more likely miss his kindness, compassion, and Christian example. I will miss him as a true friend and neighbor, in every sense of the word.

The Kranzes own property on a lake to the north that they plan to make their fulltime home. Mark looks forward to projects involving wood and tinkering, fishing and the outdoors. They plan to continue to make ILC’s morning chapel part of their daily routine. I have the feeling that God is not done using Mark’s many gifts just yet.

Joe Lau is a professor at Immanuel Lutheran College in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.