Obituary: Velma Koester

Velma M. Koester, 87, of Conway Springs, died Sunday, June 10, 2018, at Spring View Manor, Conway Springs.

She was born May 15, 1931, at Viola to Earl Floyd Nighswonger and Elaine Vineva (Bartee) Nighswonger. Velma was reared in the Viola community and attended the Peotone rural school. She attended Viola High School and later graduated with the class of 1949.

Velma was united in marriage to Lawrence Joseph Koester on April 28, 1951, in Wichita. They made their home in Wichita for a short time before moving to Garden Plain. They came to Conway Springs 14 years later, where they farmed and raised their family 1-3/4 miles north and 1 mile east of Conway Springs. Lawrence died Oct. 1, 2002.

Velma was a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church, Conway Springs, and the Altar Society.

She also was preceded in death by her parents; one son, Kirk Koester; one infant daughter, Margaret Ann Koester; three brothers, Francis, Dean and Floyd Nighswonger; two sisters, June Smith and Marjorie Welliver; and one grandson, Adam Zoglmann.

Velma is survived by four sons, Doug (Suzanne) Koester, Greg (Gina) Koester, Kent (Dana) Koester, and Kevin (Lou Ann) Koester, all of Conway Springs; four daughters, Roxanne (Orlo “Smitty”) Smith of Wasilla, Alaska, Peggy (Doug) Monsion of Conway Springs, Donna (Randy) Zoglmann of Conway Springs, and Laurie (Greg) Ebenkamp of Conway Springs; one daughter-in-law, Nancy Koester of Conway Springs; her twin sister, Zelma Pauly, of Conway Springs, Kansas; 40 grandchildren; 46 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and a number of other relatives and friends.

Funeral Mass was at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 13, at the St. Joseph Catholic Church, Conway Springs, with Father Stuart M. Smeltzer as celebrant. Vigil was at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, also at the church. Interment was in St. Joseph Cemetery, Conway Springs.

Arrangements were by Ebersole Mortuary, Conway Springs. Online condolences and guest book are available at

A memorial has been established with St. Joseph Catholic School.