Dale D. Koester
Dale Dietrich Koester, 93, passed away peacefully of natural causes in Downey, Idaho, surrounded by his family. He was born the second son of Fred John Henry Koester and Mattie Laura Nutzman in Weeping Water, Nebraska. He was proceeded in birth by his brother Edward and followed by Glen and Ron. His family moved to Idaho Falls in 1927 purchasing a farm along the Snake River, two miles South of Idaho Falls. It was there that Dale, along with his three brothers, learned the value of hard work, loyalty and integrity.
Dale graduated from Idaho Falls High School in 1941. As a senior, he was FFA President and was voted the outstanding FFA student. He married Bennie Darlou Bendixsen from Osgood on February 1, 1947, in Idaho Falls. In 1948 he left the family farm in Idaho Falls to manage a farm in Aberdeen. Kevin Dale was born there on June 8, 1949. In 1950 he purchased a farm in Lava Hot Springs. Marsha Lynn joined the family a year later on October 1, 1950. Peggy Darlou was born August 31, 1954. Dale and Darlou were later divorced.
In 1958, Dale was elected at the Idaho Young Farmer’s of America. From there he was selected to represent Idaho at the National Convention. Dale was elected as one of the four national winners from the 48 candidates representing their states. He has traveled to many places with that group including several countries where he has learned about agriculture abroad.
Dale purchased the Thomas farm in Downey in 1968. Then in 1981 one of his dreams came true when he purchased the Henrich farm in Marsh Center and he established Koester Farm’s, Inc. It included Kevin and Pam, Marsha and Norm, and Rick and Peggy. All three of these families have stayed in the Marsh Valley area to raise their families.
In 1981, Dale was blessed with a reunion of a high-school sweetheart, Joanna Gerard. He had been present at her wedding and she at his but they had only seen each other a few times in 33 years. They were married that Nove mber and moved to Downey. Her three children, Rick, Bobbi and Lori are the same age as Dale’s three. They built their beautiful rock home up Grant Ward the next year. They have traveled extensively and have shared many great adventures and much laughter the past 36 years. . She has taken painstaking care of him the past few years and the family will be forever grateful.
Dale was involved in many organizations and received many awards throughout his life. He was Chairman of the Marsh Valley School District when they consolidated and built Marsh Valley High School, a member and past president of the Lion’s Club, a member of the Bannock County Zoning Board, and an Idaho Grassman of the Year recipient. Later on, he worked as a board member for the First Bank and Trust. He was half-owner and silent partner of Marsh Valley Equipment Company, the local John Deere dealership. In 1990, he was one of three from Idaho appointed to the Idaho State Agricultural Stabilization and Conversation Committee.
Dale was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Glen, son-in-law Norman Lish and great-grandson Lincoln Hartley. He is survived by brothers Ed and Ron, his children Kevin (Pam), Marsha Lish, Peggy (Rick Armstrong) and 10 grandchildren. Joanna’s three children, Rick (Stephanie) Gerard, Bobbi (Neil Hansen), Lori (Steve Thornbrue) and 15 grandchildren. He and Joanna have a great posterity with their combined six children, 25 grand-children and 68 great-grandchildren.
The family very sincerely thanks Kim and Karen from Alliance Home Health for their tender care the past year. They also are so grateful for the staff at Whispering Pines Care Center in Downey for their care the past six weeks. Funeral Services for Dale will be held Tuesday, October 4 at the Downey LDS chapel at 11:00 am with a viewing from 9:30-10:45. A viewing will be held on Monday, Oct. 3 from 6:00-8:00p.m. . Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Horsley’s Funeral Home. Condolences and memories may be sent to the family by visiting www.horsleyfuneralhome.com