Mrs. Jack (Loretta P.) Koester, age 91, of Teutopolis, passed away at 9:50 a.m., Thursday, February 9, 2017, at her home in Teutopolis.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, February 13, 2017, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Teutopolis, with burial in the church cemetery. A Scriptural Rosary will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, February 12, at the church for those wishing to attend. Visitation will follow from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., with a parish prayer service at 6 p.m.. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made for Mass stipends or to the following: Effingham County Right to Life; 4-S Chapter Lutherans for Life; Bishop’s Pro-life; or Family Life Center. Loretta was born November 25, 1925, in Effingham County, the daughter of Ben and Lena (Westjohn) Unkraut. She married John B. “Jack” Koester on November 3, 1951, in Lillyville.
Loretta was a member of St. Francis of Assisi parish, Teutopolis, for over 60 years. She was a member of the Council of Catholic Women, having held the office of Secretary of the Diocesan CCW for 6 years. She was appointed to the Bishop’s Pro-Life Congressional District Action Committee by Bishop Joseph McNicholas, thus the beginning of the monthly deanery prayer vigils that continue to this day. She was a founding member of Effingham County Right to Life, She was also a founding member of the Family LIfe Pregnancy Care Center in Effingham.
In 2002, she was bestowed with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award by His Holiness Pope John Paul II for distinguished service to the Church and the world, along with the Magnificat Award from Springfield Diocesan Bishop George Lucas.
Loretta is survived by her son, Duane (Ann Marie), of Los Lunas, NM; two daughters, Sandy (Darrell) Wollin, of St. Peter and Cindy (Tom) Vahling, of Teutopolis; eight grandchildren, Joshua Wollin, Anthony (Jamie) Vahling, Dominic Vahling, Michaela Vahling, Isaac Vahling, Aubriana Koester, Mandi Koester and Braiden Koester; three great-grandchildren, Sarona, Titus, and Baby Vahling. She is also survived by brother, Leonard (Gustie) Unkraut and sister-in-law, Marlene Unkraut, all of Effingham.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jack; brothers, Raymond (Adeline), Bernard and Joseph Unkraut; sister, Mary (Herman) Tegeler and two infant grandchildren, Mattie and Gabrielle Vahling.