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Esther Marie Karst 1922 - 2021
Esther Marie Karst

HOISINGTON — Esther Marie Karst, 99, died Nov, 14, 2021, at Country Place Senior Living, Hoisington, Kan. She was born Nov. 4, 1922, in Barton County, Kan., the daughter of Siegmund and Ida M. (Deines) Dietz. Esther graduated from Hoisington High School in 1941.

On June 8, 1941, she married Ralph L. Karst in Milberger, Kan.  Ralph was a successful grocer who owned Karst Grocery and Hardware in Galatia, Kan., and later owned Center Street Market in Hoisington. They were married nearly 50 years. He preceded her in death on March 14, 1991. Esther was a lifelong Barton County resident, moving from Galatia to Hoisington in 1963. She worked as a dental assistant for Dr. H.K. Ritter for 20 years before retiring in 1984. Esther was a member of the United Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Milberger, the R.S.V.P. and the Clara Barton Hospital Auxiliary. Her last five years were spent at Country Place Senior Living in Hoisington where she was well cared for and frequently said “I’ve got it made in the shade!”

She is survived by two children, Gregory Karst of Lincoln, Neb., and Melinda Kershaw and husband John of Wichita; a brother, Markus Dietz and wife Caroline of McPherson; four grandchildren, Kimberly Taylor Epley of Andover, Jessica Harrison and husband John of Seattle, Wash., Sheila Heiman and husband Adam of Topeka, Sierra Karst of Omaha; seven great grandchildren, Amber Kershaw, Emma and Jack Taylor, Kayla and Tyler Harrison, Bryce and Blake Heiman; two great-great grandchildren, Tayton Wingelaar and Nathaniel Hernandez; daughter-in-law Joyce Duryea (Stanley) of Topeka, and many nieces and nephews who never forgot her. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph; son Stanley Karst; brothers Edwin and Luther Dietz; sisters Rosa Nulik, Helen Landon and Leona Kauffman; and granddaughter Amy Hoban.

Esther loved music, reading, and crossword puzzles. For many years, she and her church peers enjoyed piecing quilts for Lutheran World Relief. She valued her church community and her Hoisington friends. During WWII, she accompanied Ralph during his military training in the U.S. prior to his service in Europe, and she looked back fondly on those travels and the lifelong friends they made during that time. She was known for her sense of humor and strong spirit, and will be dearly missed by her family and friends. 

Visitation will be Tuesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Nicholson-Ricke funeral home in Hoisington. Funeral service will be 2 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, at United Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Milberger, Kan., with Pastor Randy Maki presiding. Prior to the burial service, family will greet friends at the church from 1 p.m. until the time of the service. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Galatia, Kan. Attendees at the visitation and funeral service are asked to follow COVID-19 precautions of face coverings and social distancing. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the United Emmanuel Lutheran Church or to Kans for Kids in care of Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home, PO Box 146, Hoisington, KS 67544. Notice may viewed and condolences sent at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home 

P.O. Box 146 

Hoisington, KS 67544

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Nov. 17, 2021