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Wanda Rose (Hemken) Karst 1927 - 2021
Ronald E. “Ron” Schepmann

RUSH CENTER — Wanda Rose (Hemken) Karst, age 94, Rush Center, Kan., passed away Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, at Locust Grove Village, La Crosse, Kan.

Wanda was born July 22, 1927, to William and Katherine (Wagner) Hemken on the family farm near Rush Center.

She was baptized and confirmed into the Christian faith at Hope Lutheran Church, Rush Center.

Wanda started school in Rush County District 22 (Chilly Knob) and then attended Rush Center Grade School through 8th grade before continuing her education at La Crosse High School, graduating in 1945. With a war-time shortage of teachers, she was encouraged to go to Fort Hays Kansas State College, Hays, Kan., for the summer, receive an emergency teaching certificate and begin teaching in the fall. She then taught grades 1st through 8th in a one room school. She went on to teach for six years in Rush and Barton County Schools. Wanda later went back to teaching as a substitute teacher for several years.  

On June 11, 1950, Wanda was united in marriage to Leon Karst at Hope Lutheran Church, Rush Center. For the first seven years, the couple made their home on the Karst family farm near Galatia, Kan., before moving back to Wanda’s birthplace in 1957. They lived there until 2019 when they became residents of Locust Grove Village, La Crosse.

Leon and Wanda were blessed with five children: Jeannine, David, Stephen, Richard and Charles. Their marriage spanned an amazing 71 years.

Wanda was a member of Hope Lutheran Church where she served in several capacities including Sunday School teacher and superintendent, and in WELCA, the church’s womens group.

She also actively participated in several community organizations: Extension Board and FCE units, 4-H leader, United Fund board and Rush Center Lions Club.

Wanda enjoyed quilting, gardening and reading.

Wanda was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Hilda Hagerman and Verna Voight; brother, Martin Hemken; a son, Stephen Joel Karst; and daughter in law, Sharon (Wells) Karst. Survivors include her husband, Leon; daughter, Jeannine Moore and husband, Tom, of Pueblo, Colo.; sons, David and wife, Kelli, Fort Collins, Colo., Richard and wife, Rhonda, Rush Center, and Charles of Claremore, Okla. Wanda is also survived by ten grandchildren: granddaughters, Katherine (Karst) Storie and husband, Douglas Jr., Ashlyn Karst, Rayna Karst, Kelsey Moore and Jordyn Karst; grandsons include: Brandon Yost, William Karst, Nathaniel Karst and wife, Andrea, Caleb Karst and Collin Karst. Great grandchildren are Weiland and Wallace Yost and Elliot and Blakely Karst.

Memorial service will be Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, at 10 a.m. at Hope Lutheran Church, Rush Center, with Pastor Wayne Baldyga officiating. Inurnment will be in the Hope Lutheran Cemetery, Rush Center. Memorials are suggested to the Hope Lutheran Church, Rush Center, or Locust Grove Village, La Crosse. Condolences or remembrances may be left for the family at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Janousek Funeral Home

P.O. Box 550 

La Crosse, KS 67548

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Aug. 20, 2021