A graveside ceremony honoring the life of Dalvia “Dee” Marie Koester will be held at 2 PM Tuesday, July 28, 2020, at the Fort Gibson National Cemetery. The family will receive visitors Monday, July 27th from 6-8 PM at the RiverCrest Chapel in Bixby. Dee passed away unexpectedly Monday evening, July 20, 2020, at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa. She was 85.
The second of five children, Dee, was born June 28, 1935, in Muleshoe, Texas. She was the daughter of Milford and Pearl (Spencer) Howard. Dee grew up in a two-bedroom house with no running water or electricity just outside of Dimmitt, Texas. They were a farming and ranching family that experienced many tough times in the Texas Pandhandle. Dee was an all-state guard for her high school basketball team, where she graduated with the Class of 1952. The coach incentivized his players with chocolate bars for “taking out” players on the opposing team. Dee loved her chocolate bars!
While Dee’s brother was home visiting from military service during the Korean Conflict, he introduced her to his bunkmate, Gerald Koester. They corresponded by letter for several months and married on April 24, 1955, in Dimmit, during Gerald’s next time of leave. Upon his discharge, Gerald attended Texas Tech while Dee waited tables at local restaurants in the area.
Once Gerald became a CPA and gained employment with the Internal Revenue Service, they moved their family to California and raised their four children. Dee was a wonderful wife and mother. Though a stern disciplinarian, she was always fair, loving, and supportive in every way possible. Dee “toted” her children everywhere they needed, including all football, cheerleading, and scouting activities. She also played catcher for a recreational softball team, comprised of the wives of local IRS accountants. Needless to say, not many runs were scored when Dee was at home plate!
Dee and Gerald relocated to Tulsa in 1975, where they would spend the next 36 years together. They were longtime members of Faith United Methodist Church. Gerald preceded her in death in 2011.
While in Tulsa, Dee worked at Mervyn’s department for 15 years. She was a dedicated associate, winning employee of the year on numerous occasions, and one time, she won a trip to Hawaii. Though not a part of the asset protection department, however, she had no problem “taking out” shoplifters at the door! Dee took on many new hires at Mervyn’s and treated them like her own children. She was known to be like a mother to anyone who needed her for anything.
A terrific cook, she was known by her family to be the “Queen of Crisco,” with comfort food dishes such as fried chicken, mashed potatoes, squash, okra, and pork chops. Taco nights with Dee’s homemade taco shells were always cherished by her loving family. Dee lived a life of perseverance, always making the best of every situation for everybody. Her dedication, love, and whit will not soon be forgotten by a host of family and friends who loved her.
Surviving family members include his children: Edward Koester and wife, Diane of Canton, GA, Gary Lee Koester, Jeffrey Koester, and Debra Koester, all of Tulsa; ten grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren.
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