Phil Edward Koester, of Lake Limestone/Groesbeck, joined the angels singing in Heaven on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at age 73.
Visitation will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, 2022, in the Sanctuary of First United Methodist Church of Groesbeck.
A Memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday in the FUMC Sanctuary, with Reverend Steve Nance officiating.
Phil was born February 28, 1949, to Marvin P. Koester and Marie (Harris) Koester in Dallas. He grew up in Dallas and graduated from Sunset High School in the Class of 1967. He had been “forced” by his mother into piano lessons (which he hated because of having to wear a white tux for recitals) and was drum major in the band. While playing piano in a garage band, Stevie Ray Vaughn was one of the participants for a while. However, his parents did not realize his talent as a singer until he sang the lead in a college musical. And he sang ever since, to the great pleasure of all who heard him.
Phil attended Concordia Lutheran College in Austin where he studied in the seminary. In Austin, he met Jean Sprowls, who was a music major at Concordia, and she has been the love of his life for the past 53 years.
Phil and Jean were united in marriage on September 13, 1969, in the Lutheran Church on the UT campus. They moved to Dallas, where Phil worked for LTV for a few years, and then worked in the automotive service industry.
Phil and Jean moved to Lake Limestone (Groesbeck) in 1994 and Phil became an insurance agent for Joyce Denke at Insurance Plus (which was in Kosse at the time.) He continued as an insurance agent until retiring in 2021.
Phil loved fishing, even before moving to the Lake, and he had taken his kids fishing often and on countless hunting trips.
Phil was a well-known vocalist in the Groesbeck area. He sang and directed the choir at Our Savior Lutheran Church while living in Dallas, and also was choir director at several churches in Groesbeck, Lake Limestone and Teague. Although he was raised and confirmed in the Lutheran Church, he became a member of the First United Methodist Church in Groesbeck and then in Teague.
Phil’s favorite music was old-time gospel, and also Elvis. He loved attending “Sights and Sounds” in Branson, and finally got to fulfill his wish to visit Graceland.
He sang for many years in the Glory Train quartet, and he traveled to various churches, gospel music celebrations and jamborees to perform. Jean was always there to help set up the equipment – she was his best “roadie.” He sang at many weddings, especially his daughter’s wedding, and for baptisms and funerals. He had one solo CD and several quartet CDs.
Jean and Phil were Citizens of the Year in Groesbeck a few years ago. They loved to travel and created wonderful memories for the family by hosting all in a condo in Branson, MO for Thanksgiving for the past eight years. Phil dearly loved to buy Jean anything he thought she wanted. He loved his grandchildren, who called him “Opa.” Phil tickled everyone by “pulling a quarter - or candy”- out of little kids’ ears. He will be dearly missed by his loving family and by everyone who knew him and loved to hear him sing.
Phil was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Paul Dewayne Koester.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Koester of Groesbeck; brother and sister-in-law, Ken and Janet Koester of Coppell; son and “intended daughter-in-law”, Paul Koester of Beaumont and Lisa Prejean of Orange; daughter and son-in-law, Pam and Matthew Dunn of Pearland; grandchildren, Liam Dunn and Peyton Dunn of Pearland.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests any donations in memory of Phil may be made to Groesbeck Limestone Medical Center (Hospital) or First United Methodist Church of Groesbeck.