Esther Agnes Werling, Age :98
Feb 13,1922---Sep 09,2020

Esther Agnes Werling (nee Meyer), of Olathe, Kansas, died September 9, 2020, at the age of 98.  She was born in Grandfield, Oklahoma, February 13, 1922, to parents Reverend Walter H. and Anna Meyer.  Esther was reared in Haven, Kansas, and as a child, attended the Lutheran Grade School.  

Esther continued her Lutheran education by attending both St. John’s Academy and St. John’s College in Winfield, Kansas, where she met her future husband and the love of her life, SJC student Dick Werling.  Esther treasured her years as a “Johnnie.”  Following graduation from SJC in 1941, Esther was called to St. James Lutheran School, Quincy, Illinois, as a teacher at the primary grade level, while Dick enrolled at the University of Kansas to study medicine.  With the onset of WWII, Dick enlisted and served in the US Navy and on November 21, 1943, the two were married in Kansas City, Kansas.  Once the war ended, the couple eventually settled in Hill City, Kansas, where they reared seven children.

As a loving and devoted wife and mother, Esther excelled in her role as homemaker.  She was a wonderful cook and her children still describe her cherry pie as “the best in the world!”  Esther enjoyed sewing, painting, crafting, and needlework--and she loved music.  Sharing that love of music with her family, Esther encouraged and supported music lessons whether piano, vocal, instrumental, or percussion.  She also had a wonderful sense of humor and there was always music and laughter in the Werling household!  With her warm and friendly personality, Esther made countless friends over the years while maintaining strong, long-established and loving relationships with her children, grandchildren, and extended family members.

Esther had a deep and abiding faith in her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, which she shared with her family.  In 1960, she and Dick were charter members of Grace Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, in Hill City.  Esther was very active in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League and taught Sunday School and pre-confirmation catechism class.  She played the organ for Sunday church services and on Saturdays led a Bible class for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  Esther also became a spokesperson for assisting Lutheran churches throughout the state of Kansas in starting Sunday School classes for children with disabilities.

As the mother of a son with Down Syndrome, Esther held a deep compassion for children with developmental disabilities.  And as a parent seeking assistance in educating and training her son, she was instrumental in obtaining a grant which helped establish the Kobler Center, a facility in Hill City for individuals with disabilities.  Esther accepted the responsibility for the position of Director.

Following Dick’s death in 1975 and prior to her retirement, Esther spent eight years as House Mother for Gamma Phi Beta Sorority at the University of Kansas.  She then relocated to Fort Scott, Kansas, and during that time used her artistic ability as a crafts demonstrator in the local Walmart.  In 2009, Esther moved to the Kansas City area where she resided in an independent living facility.  As she required more care, Esther was moved into Nottingham Health and Rehabilitation Center, Olathe, Kansas. 

Preceding Esther in death were her parents, her husband Dick, her son Billy, an infant granddaughter, and her three brothers:  Reverend Karl Meyer, Arthur Meyer, and Reverend Walter Meyer.  She leaves behind four daughters:  Patricia Tenner (Allen), Prairie Village, KS; Bonnie Werling Marker, Anaheim, CA; Kristine Wetterhus (Jay), Morton, Il; and, Melinda Werling, Kansas City, MO; two sons:  Dr. Richard Werling (Cathy), Fort Scott, KS; and, Reverend Gary Werling (Pam), Gretna, NE; 14 grandchildren; and, 33 great-grandchildren.  

A private family service will be held at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Olathe, Kansas.  Interment will be at Memorial Lawn Cemetery, Hill City, Kansas.  The family suggests memorial gifts be sent to the St. John’s College Alumni Association, PO 376, Winfield, Kansas 67156, or to Kobler Developmental Center, Hill City, Kansas.

The family would like to thank Nottingham Health & Rehab and K.C. Hospice for their loving care of Esther.


Aubrey and Michael Hall Sep 10 ,2020

Friends ,Kansas City ,Missouri

We are blessed to have known your mother and the wonderful person that she was. May the beautiful memories you have of her live on in your hearts.

Larry & Kathy Heidemann Sep 11 ,2020

Friend ,Gretna ,Nebraska

So so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. She is able to join her loved ones. What a special homecoming for her to be joined together. Sending friendship, love and prayers. Hugs❤️

Larry & Kathy Heidemann Sep 11 ,2020

Friend ,Gretna ,Nebraska

So so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. She is able to join her loved ones. What a special homecoming for her to be joined together. Sending friendship, love and prayers. Hugs❤️

Mike and Cheryl Wright Sep 11 ,2020

Friends ,Fort Scott ,Kansas

We remember Esther so fondly from her time in Fort Scott. She was such a warm and kind lady. It was always a pleasure to visit with her. And it was obvious that she loved her family so! Her legacy lives on in the lives of such a wonderful group of "Werlings."

Marlene Pennekamp Sep 11 ,2020

Niece ,Granite City ,Illinois

As children, our lives were forever touched by Aunt Esther...a most extraordinarily strong, outgoing, gentle and loving woman. We didn’t see her often, but each encounter was memorable. With all our love and remembrances — Walt and MaryLou’s girls: Marlene Pennekamp, Barbara Durrant, Gloria Shems

Bob Werling Sep 11 ,2020

Nephew ,Santa Barbara ,California

Living on the West Coast, I was geographically limited to really have known my Aunt Esther. However, the stories and lives of such family members represent the mind and spirit of a great generation that we will likely never see again. I shall miss her.

Ekaterini Sep 11 ,2020

Friend ,Patra,Greece.

I extend my deepest sympathies to you and your family. May the soul of your grandmother be at peace with our Heavenly Father.

Chris and Jina Paul Sep 11 ,2020

Friend ,Gretna ,Nebraska

We’re so very sorry for your loss. Reading the beautiful eulogy, she lived a wonderful, full life. May peace be with you all.

Brookelynn Sep 11 ,2020

Care Giver ,Olathe ,Kansas

Oh Esther, where do I begin? I was so lucky to have met you and have gotten the chance to take care of you. You were SO loved. My favorite moment with you was when I was done getting you ready in the morning and you told me “to get back over here” so, I did. You gave me the BIGGEST smile, (that I will never forget) and told me that you liked me so much. I always, always played you worship music in the morning. I didn’t know the day you passed away, until I came into work Friday 9/11, I found out you passed away on 9/9, and now I know why I was seeing the number 99 everywhere. God has his glorious ways of telling us things...I’m going to miss seeing that adorable face in the morning...I love you Esther.

Carolyn S. Overstreet Sep 12 ,2020

I met Esther and her family 7 years ago. I remember the first time when I went in her room and saw it was filled with KU blankets and memorabilia. She loved to talk about that. She had a strong faith and knew that Jesus was waiting for her to join Him in Heaven. I'm going to miss our weekly visits and hugs. I'll close as I did when I left you each week with a wave and the words, "God Bless You, Esther." Thank you Werling family for sharing your beautiful loving mom with me.

Sandra S Wyssmann Sep 16 ,2020

Friend of Mindy ,Gravois Mills ,Missouri

My sincere condolences to the Werling family for the loss of your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless Esther and her family. Sandra