TOPEKA — Norman William Koester, 68, of Topeka, died July 19, 2015, at St. Francis Hospital. He was born on Sept. 2, 1946, in Hoisington, the son of William and Helen (Langer) Koester. He retired from Washburn University after 25 years as an Electronic Technician. Norm had previously worked for Goodyear and had owned and operated Norm’s TV and Organ Repair.
Norm served in the United States Navy from 1966 to 1970 aboard the USS Tyconderoga with the Catapult and Gear Crew CVA-14 V2, and the USS Hancock Crew CVA-19. The USS Tyconderoga crew enjoyed regular reunions.
He enjoyed vegetable gardening, canning, woodworking, and cooking, especially his famous dessert breads and Christmas candies.
Norm was a member of Mater Dei Holy Name Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus at the church, American Legion Post No. 400 and was an honorary member of the Northern Aztec Fireeagle Clan where he was given the name (no’man dootl’izh shash t’ahdii) “Norman Green Bear that Growls.”
He was married to LuAnne Koester from 1971 to 1984. On April 17, 2004, he married Ellen L. (Fitzpatrick) Fritz at Holy Name Church. She survives. He is also survived by a daughter, Samantha (Ken Hare) Koester of Sorento, Ill.; a stepson, Greg Fritz of Topeka; grandchildren, Brandon and Rodger Lewis of Topeka and Abbagale Hare of Sorento, Ill. He is survived by his siblings, Duane (Janet) Koester of Hoisington, Karen (Richard) Schraeder of Great Bend, Kenneth (Barbara) Koester of Great Bend, Ronald (Betty) Koester of Manhattan, and Richard (Pamela) Koester of Hoisington; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a son Rodger Koester and his parents.
Norm will lie in state at Mater Dei Holy Name Catholic Church after 4 p.m. on Wednesday where the family will greet friends from 4 to 7 p.m., and a Parish Rosary will be prayed at 6:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Mater Dei Holy Name Church. Interment with military honors will follow in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to Mater Dei Holy Name Church, to Ellen Koester to be designated by her to a charity to benefit Navy Veterans, or to the charity of the donor’s choice and sent in care of the funeral home. Online condolences and fond memories may be left at www.brennanmathenafh.com.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home**
800 SW 6th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66603
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, July 22, 2015