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All in the family for the Bostics

alumni-melodie

For Marla Bostic and her daughter, Melodie Bostic, working at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis is a natural extension of their family.

For three years, the mother and daughter have both worked at the Seminary but in different departments. Marla is a cashier in the Campus Store and Melodie is senior coordinator of alumni and congregation relations in Seminary advancement. The two women also live on the same block, one house apart, in the same St. Louis neighborhood.

“We have a close relationship,” said Marla Bostic. Both women are natural leaders with a strong work ethic and event planning skills. They also happen to have a flair for fashion and home décor. They enjoy regaling each other with the latest deals they have discovered.

One recent evening after work, the two women painted signs on neon yellow poster board as they prepared for an upcoming yard sale. Sitting inside her daughter’s house, Marla pointed to a burlap placemat on the kitchen floor and asked, “Where did you get that mat?”

“On clearance at Marshalls,” Melodie said.

The burlap placemat with cute dog quotes belongs to Rocky, the family’s 8-year-old Brussels Griffon.

Together the mother and daughter painted and chatted about their day at Melodie’s kitchen table, which has bench seating topped with neatly arranged throw pillows in orange, gold, and geometric and floral patterns. She chooses the fabric and the mother of a work colleague makes the pillows. It’s less expensive and they last longer, she said.

Some of the pillows also wind up in Marla’s house. It is a close relationship indeed.

The women also discussed Melodie’s new job working with Seminary alumni. Before her promotion, she worked for eight years as a support analyst in gift operations.

“I feel like God keeps opening doors,” Melodie said. “Part of my new job will be building relationships at events where we hope to engage our alumni and encourage our younger alums to become more connected to their alma mater.”

Years ago, Marla and her husband, Tom, a retired St. Louis firefighter, decided that their children would have a Lutheran-based education.

“We wanted to put the kids into Christian schools. I was raised Baptist,” Marla said. “Then we found out about the Lutheran education system.”

In 1982, the Bostics became members of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, which is now closed. In 1990, the family joined Messiah Lutheran Church in St. Louis. Melodie and her brother, Steven, attended Central City and Messiah Lutheran schools and she graduated from Lutheran High School North.

Melodie studied psychology and pre-nursing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Since 1998, one or both of the Bostics have worked for Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) entities. Marla worked evenings as a part-time gift-by-phone caller for Blake Wolf & Associates when the phone bank serving several LCMS institutions, such as Lutheran Hour Ministries and the Seminary, was located at Concordia Publishing House, close to the Bostics’ home.

In 2000, Melodie became interested in working as part-time caller. Marla, who no longer worked at the phone bank, helped Melodie make the connection.

Previously, Marla worked for 36 years for the U.S. Postal Service, first as a letter carrier, then as a claims adjudicator in customer
service. She retired in 2012 but that didn’t last long because Melodie, now working at the Seminary, heard about a part-time job at the Seminary.

“Concordia Publishing House used to have a store in Loeber Hall on campus,” Melodie said. “I thought it would be a great job for her.

“I told her, ‘You brought me in, now I’m bringing you in,’ ” Melodie said. Marla was hired in August 2013.

Erika Bennett, the Seminary’s Campus Store manager and continuing education coordinator, said that in Marla’s job interview, one of the first things she noticed was Marla’s stylish clothes.

“I had to step up my game,” Bennett said with a laugh. But it is Marla’s vibrant personality and her love for the students that sets her apart.

“Marla’s a treasure,” Bennett said. “She’s a great ambassador for the Seminary. “She often is the first person people meet when they come to campus.”

A case in point is Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) student Karl Glander. Like many students who stop by the Campus Store, he recently made a quick purchase and left with a smile thanks to Marla.

“I don’t know how she remembers me. I’m not here that often,” said Glander, social services director at Amigos en Cristo in Immokalee, Fla. “She makes you feel a part of the community.”

The Bostics are the only mother-daughter team on staff. Though they have different roles at the Seminary, their support of one another in life and in their careers is evident to all those who know them.

Bennett said, “They are blessed to have each other and they know it.”

This article originally appeared in the fall 2016 issue of Concordia Seminary magazine.