Irene Minnie Kiester 1918 - 2008 Wellsville, Kan.
Services for Irene Minnie (Neis) Kiester, 96, of Wellsville, Kan., will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at Wilson’s Funeral Home in Wellsville. Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, prior to services. Burial will be in Wellsville Cemetery.
Mrs. Kiester, formerly of Basehor, died Monday, Nov. 3, 2008, at Wellsville Retirement Community.
She was born Oct. 18, 1912, near Wellsville, on the farm of her parents, Albert F. and Anna Marie (Mary) Brecheisen Neis. She attended the rural Vespertine School and graduated from Wellsville High School in 1930. She was valedictorian of her Douglas County eighth grade class and also of her Wellsville High School graduating class.
In September 1930, she embarked upon her chosen career as a teacher in the rural Douglas County schools of Adeline, Prospect and Hesper for eight years. During the summers, she attended the Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia, Kan. In 1938, she enrolled in Kansas University, graduating with honors and with a B.S. in Education in 1941. She was a member of Pi Lamba Theta, National Honorary Education Sorority, and Miller Scholarship Hall. The following fall she began her secondary teaching career as a business education teacher at Linwood Rural High School. She subsequently taught in high schools at Wellsville and Basehor, retiring in 1972. She taught for 25 years in the Basehor-Linwood School District.
In 1946, she married Ward L. Kiester. He died in 1983; a son, Ward L. Kiester II, died in 1972.
Mrs. Kiester was a member of Basehor United Methodist Church, Basehor United Methodist Women, Kansas University Alumni Association, Order of Eastern Star of Wellsville, a life member of Kansas Retired Teachers Association and a member of Leavenworth Area Retired Teachers Association, American Association of Retired Persons, National Retired Teachers Association, Leavenworth County Historical Society, Basehor Community Library, Basehor Historical Museum Association, Today Club of the Kansas Republican Party, National Republican Party, and Leavenworth County Republican Party. She served as Leavenworth County Precinct Committeewoman for years and also on the Kiwanas Foundation Scholarship Commission and for the second division.
She had been listed in the national publication, Leaders of American Secondary Education.
During World War II, she was a secretary during the summer months; one summer at the Sunflower Ordnance Works east of Lawrence and two summers at the U.S. Naval Air Station in Olathe. At Hesper, she coached a basketball team that won the first place trophy award over Douglas County Rural School.
After leaving Basehor, Irene went to live with her sister and husband, Norma and Louis Schendel, and her last years were spent at the Wellsville Retirement Community.
The family suggests memorials to Basehor Historical Museum Association, sent in care of the funeral home, P.O. Box 486, Wellsville, KS 66092.
Arr.: Wilson’s Funeral Home, Wellsville