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Noma M. Keesee (December 4, 1929 - March 8, 2018)

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Noma Mae Keesee was born 13 miles north of Gretna, Kansas, on December 4, 1929, and departed this life on February 8, 2018, at the Phillips County Retirement Center in Phillipsburg, Kansas. Noma was the 7th of 9 children born to Erl Eli Haskett and Theresa Pauline Schulke Haskett. She grew up on that farm north of Gretna and attended the Crow School for her grade school. She had a strong desire to attend High school. To attend high school it required her moving to live with her brother and sister in law Cecil and Rose Haskett so that she could ride the little bus from the north part of the county down to Agra High. For her senior year she would move to live as a guest in a residence in Agra so that she could finish her High School education.

After graduating from high school Noma got a job in Phillipsburg in the County Extension Office at the Phillips County Courthouse. She said that many times she would enter the courthouse and sing “Oh what a beautiful morning” as she ran up the three flights of stairs to her office on the third floor.

It was during this time that she met the young Lowell Keesee. They were later married in La Junta, Colorado on February 9, 1950. Lowell showered her with love and encouragement for the 59 years they were married. To this marriage 5 children were born. John Eli, Robert Lowell, Tony Ray, Amy Sue and Rita Kay. Lowell preceded Noma in death. He passed away on March 4, 2009.

Noma took care of the home and the ever growing family. She raised her family, attending Church and teaching from the bible by actions in word and deed. Many times at mealtime Noma would bring an article that she thought was interesting to share. She thought the family needed something for enlightenment. Also reading from Amy Vanderbilt and learning manners were part of her instructions. Noma opened her home to her sisters Betty and Bernice so that they could go to High School in Phillipsburg.

In 1965 the family purchased the Silver Saddle Motel in Phillipsburg. Noma coordinated the operation of the motel with the care of the family. She cleaned many rooms, greeted guests and made sure the work there was done correctly. She made the beds quickly, vacuumed the carpets with gusto and polished the bathrooms and made them shine. All in record time.

Noma did everything with vigor. It did not matter if it was the cleaning of a motel room, mixing up an angel food cake for one of her favorite nephews or doing her physical therapy after one of her surgeries. She moved diligently and vigorously, and always with great determination.

In 1980 the motel was sold and Noma and Lowell made their home on Prospect Street. Noma loved to cook and was always ready to try a new recipe. She also shared banana bread and other baked items with her neighbors and friends. Noma loved to plant and work in the garden. A large garden was part of what Noma and Lowell enjoyed in the summer. Noma loved to watch things grow, not only in the garden but plants in the house. Many plants that were given to her that were on their death bed were brought back to health with her green thumb.

Noma loved to sew. Dresses, aprons, and doll clothes were just a few of the things she created with that sewing machine. Her children and grandchildren all benefited from her sewing creativity.

Noma often spoke how she loved her country. - She loved America. - She loved Kansas. - She loved the Kansas sunflower and the Western Kansas sky and sunsets. - And even though she had a very uncomfortable feeling flying and traveling far, she went many miles to see her children whether it was in California, Massachusetts or Australia. She loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was smothered by their love through pictures, cards and love.

Noma volunteered to serve with the “Senior Companion” group. This is a group of senior citizens who assist and give companionship to others that need that care. She loved providing that service. She said often how it made her feel good by helping someone else feel better. Noma was active in the Phillipsburg Church of Christ and taught and lived a life for Christ.

In 2016 she moved, due to declining health, to the Phillips County Retirement Center, where she was living when she passed away. Noma loved to sing and she many times would “sing” for the residents while she lived there.

Noma is survived by her children John and his wife Carrie of Shirley, Mass., Robert and his wife Sharlene of Phillipsburg, Tony and his wife Betty of Mannford OK, Amy Gordon and her husband Tom of Traverse City, Michigan and Rita Graham and her husband Jack of Haltom City, Texas., and eleven Grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister Bernice Werner and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

Noma will be sorely missed.

Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 12, 2018 in the Olliff-Boeve Memorial Chapel, Phillipsburg. Burial followed in the Agra Cemetery, Agra, KS.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Church of Christ or Senior Companions.

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