Phyllis Geneva Koster, age 89, Concordia, KS resident, passed away April 28, 2023 at Sunset Home, Concordia, KS. She was born in Concordia, KS on May 31, 1933 to Charles and Evalyn (Earley) Strait. She was one of 14 children and spoke little of her childhood. Although so many details of her early life were kept private, she had an unfettered love of her brothers and sisters that lasted throughout her days. Her love of family was a continual backdrop of her life, and she dedicated all she was to the people she loved. The only thing the family could possibly name as something rivaling the love of her family was her fierce love of gambling. We are unsure when this passion began for her but she showed her true all or nothing attitude with the gamble of marrying Harley Hess in 1949 at the young age of 16.
Hoping for a life full of beginner's luck, Harley and Phyllis started their family with their first born son Rodney in 1950. Deciding to double down, they had children Sheryl, Debbie, Kathy, Mike, Teddy, and Kelly soon after. Life in the Hess family was full of adventure with many stories that the family loves to tell and others just shake their heads at. Phyllis ran her family like a pit boss, always with loving direction, a slight nudge in how she thought you should handle things, but eventually letting the chips fall as they may. She was a force to be dealt with; full of strong opinions and you could always count on her telling you exactly how she felt. In 1991, after successfully raising her wonderful children, she lost her first husband Harley. Phyllis was a loving grandmother to 15 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.
In May of 2001 Phyllis hit another jackpot in her marriage to Henry Koster. They lived their later
years together traveling, playing bingo, searching for free deals from casinos, and loving each other; along with spreading their love to all the grandchildren and great grandchildren they adored. Every time you talked to Phyllis she updated you on each of their adventures and told you exactly what she thought about what the people in her life were up to. There were definitely times you did NOT want to be a topic of those conversations. Phyllis eventually made her television debut on the Price is Right, winning a set of tires and cordless phones. She spent many years as a fan of the show, and participation in it was one highlight of her life. Although, she was NOT happy learning that she had to pay taxes on her winnings. The family remembers exactly where she told the show they could put her tires and if you knew her, you can imagine where that was. She faced many challenges in life while always using her quick wit as her ace in the hole.
In true gambler fashion, Phyllis knew exactly when to “fold-em” and returned home to her Lord and Savior on April 28th, 2023.
Phyllis was a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Altar Society, and American Legion Auxiliary and the VFW Auxiliary.
Phyllis is survived by husband Henry Koster, son Mike (Lori) Hess; daughters Sheryl (Bill)
Graham, Kathy (Mark) Gammill, Kelly (Kevin) Johnston, daughter-in-law Donna Hess, sister
Patty Smith, 15 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by husband Harley, sons, Teddy Hess, Rodney Hess, daughter,
Debbie Reynolds; brothers; Jack Strait, Bob Strait, William D. Strait, Howard Strait, James
Strait; sisters, Helen Plumly, Ruth Moore, Buena Reed, Alberta Lanoue, Lavonne Snyder, Fern Clark, and Gwen Jasperson.
Visitation will be Monday May 1, 2023 at Nutter Mortuary from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. The Casket will remain closed.
Visitation will also be Tuesday May 2, 2023 from 9:00am – 10:00am before the service at the church where the family will be present.
The Casket will remain closed.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Concordia
Kansas on May 2nd, 2023 at 10:00am with Father David Metz Officiating.
Burial will follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, also in Concordia.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary.
For online condolences, please visit nuttermortuary.com.
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