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Esther M. (Koch) Bowles was born in Shattuck, Oklahoma, at the Shattuck Hospital on February 15, 1923 to John M & Christina (Kammerer) Koch. She was raised on the farm southwest of Shattuck where she and each of her older siblings were responsible for milking a cow before they went to school. They also raised pigs, chickens, geese, and helped their parents tend the large garden raised every summer. Mother told the story many times of her and her sister Helen, would get a couple of baby piglets and wrap them in their doll blankets and push them around in their doll buggies. Then they would take the baby piglets back to their pen. Esther accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior at a young age growing up in the Lutheran Church. Esther transferred to the Shattuck Public School to enter High School where she graduated in 1940. At the age of 10 after visiting one of her cousins in the hospital following surgery, she decided she wanted to be a nurse. Esther had watched the nurses' caring for her cousin and decided that looked like the job for her. Esther's father had other plans for her, like being a teacher, but Esther eventually won. After graduation Esther worked a year and saved her money then moved to Wichita, Kansas, where she applied for and was accepted into the Wesley Medical Center School of Nursing. After finishing her first year of Nursing School she discovered that the Army was offering a Cadet Program that would pay for schooling plus pay a monthly stipend to those who applied, qualified, and Esther happened to be in the top third of her class so was able to have her schooling paid for, to her relief! Upon graduation from Nursing School in 1946 she returned to Shattuck and began working at the Newman Memorial Hospital. Esther and Billie Odell Bowles were united in marriage on August 5, 1946. To this union four children were born Douglas, Judy, Marlene, and Janet. Esther became a member of the United Methodist Church in Arnett and later Shattuck, Oklahoma. Esther spent 4 years in the clinic working as a office nurse for both Dr. M.H. Newman and Dr. J.J. Smith, then worked 6 years as a staff nurse and floor supervisor. The remaining 30 years of nursing were spent as surgery supervisor and helping with anesthetics. Upon retiring from Nursing in 1986 she became active in the Senior Citizen Center enjoying the activities offered and taking sight seeing tours around the country enjoying all the sights and scenery. Esther was a member of the United Methodist Women and Star Bible Class where she was treasurer for several years. She had also been Sunday School Teacher, served on the social committee for several years and served on the church board. Esther was an avid bridge player and was a member of a couple bridge clubs and played on a regular basis. Esther was a great cook who enjoyed cooking for her family and friends, her pecan pies and fried chicken along with many German dishes were the best. Esther enjoyed being around all of her grandchildren and tried to make it to as many of their activities as possible. Esther was preceded in death by her husband, Billie Odell Bowles; her parents, John M and Christina Koch; four sisters, Elsie Koch, Deloris Koch, Helen Marquardt, and Lorene Leedy; three brothers, Edwin Koch, Willard Koch, and Harry Koch. Esther went to be with her Lord and Savior on April 28, 2016 at the age of 93 years, 2 months, and 13 days, at the Grace Living Center, Buffalo, Oklahoma. Esther is survived by her four children, Doug and wife Kay Bowles of Buffalo, Oklahoma, Judy and husband Larry Schoenhals of Edmond, Oklahoma, Marlene and husband Larry Longhofer of Shattuck, Oklahoma, and Janet and Brad Vincent of Tulsa, Oklahoma; 12 Grandchildren, Brian and wife Janie Bowles, Melissa and husband Steve Madrid, Brad and wife Mandy Bowles, Kristin and husband Brian Bottom, Shana and husband Adam Young, Brandon Longhofer, Ryan Longhofer, LaNae and husband Rick Traczyk, Brenten and wife Kelsey Longhofer, Michelle and husband John Parker, BreAnne Vincent, and Brooke Vincent; 2 sister-in-laws, Wanda Lou Davis and Loraine Koch; 16 Great Grandchildren and one on the way; many nieces and nephews; friends left to cherish her memory. In Lieu of Flowers family suggest memorial to the Shattuck Senior Citizen and the United Methodist Church.
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