Obituary-Ella Oentrich

Ella Faye Oentrich, age 66, of Barnes, passed away at her home on Friday, January 12, 2024.

Ella was born November 9, 1957, at Washington County Hospital to Marvin L. and Verna J. (Henry) Oentrich. She graduated from Linn High School in 1975. Her education continued at Cloud County Community College where she was a member of the women’s basketball team and then Emporia State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1979.

She began her teaching career at Hartford High School in Hartford, Kansas. Affectionately known as “Miss O” by the students, parents and her peers; she was a revered member of the school and Hartford community for 30 years. During her tenure, she taught typing and business classes, physical education, coached sports, served as activity director, and was the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) advisor. Through FBLA she became involved at the state and national level and was still active with the organization through present day.

In 2009, she moved back to her home on the family farm, and enjoyed working as a para professional at local schools until her retirement last fall. She found great pride in official scorekeeping and working the clock at middle and high school games. Her meticulous method wasn’t just scorekeeping, but a guide for coaches to review later and was recently recognized by the National Federation of State High School Associations and the Kansas State High School Activities Association with an Award of Excellence for Exemplary Display of Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity.

Throughout her life, she assisted in the stewardship of Fancy Creek United Methodist, where she was a lifelong member.

At a young age, Ella could be found playing with pets: cats being her favorite, but dogs a close second. Her love for animals was steadfast in her life.

Ella was no stranger to hard work. On the family farm, where spent summers, and then retired to; she logged hours on the mower, kept the cedars and thistles trimmed from the pastures, and was her brother’s reliable helper.

In their rural community, Ella was a pillar, more than just a neighbor she was willing to help with anything needed and well-loved in return.  

She enjoyed planting an annual garden, favoring green beans, ornamental corn, pumpkins and gourds and found joy in sharing the bounty with her neighbors, friends and family.

Her nieces and nephew will remember her as always being a constant in their lives. She made every holiday and birthday special, spent hours playing catch in the yard, and supported any activity they were in.

Preceding Ella in death are her parents Marvin and Verna Oentrich.

Survivors include her brother Delvin (Laura) Oentrich of Barnes, nieces and nephew: Brad (Heather) Oentrich of Junction City, Krista (Amos) Cubit of Garnett and Heather (Reiss) Bruning of Bruning, Nebraska, and by her cherished friends, Connie Lindell, Peggy Chaffain and Jane Kelley.

Viewing is from noon to 8:00 pm, Thursday, January 18, with visitation between 6:00 and 8:00 pm, at Christie-Anderes Funeral Home in Waterville.

Funeral services are at 10:00 am, Friday, January 19, 2024, at Fancy Creek United Methodist Church, south of Barnes at 21181 Ober Road, Randolph, KS with Pastors Bruce and Sandy Ferguson officiating. Betty Guin is the musician. Hymns are to include “In The Garden” and “Amazing Grace.”  Casket Bearers are: Amos Cubit, Reiss Bruning, Bob Whearty, Ryan Wieters, Daniel Vathauer and Scott Zabokrtsky. Burial will be in Maplewood Cemetery, west of Barnes.

Memorials are suggested to the Fancy Creek Zion Cemetery Association and may be sent in care of Christie-Anderes Funeral Home at PO Box 61, Waterville, Kansas 66548.

Christie-Anderes Funeral Home, Waterville, in charge of arrangements.

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