March 22, 2019 – Sept. 20, 2020

Mother Edna May and father Carl Wesley Koester were delighted when their baby son Wesley was born, as their firstborn, also a son, had died at birth two years earlier. Wesley’s sister Carole Ann was born four years later and joined the happy family circle.

Wesley grew up in Maywood, California; same neighborhood, same house -- enjoyed school very much -- skipping the 3rd grade - and had lots of friends, many going from kindergarten to graduation together. Wesley won the city-wide Bell High School tennis championship before graduating at the age of 16. Immediately following graduation, he went to California Polytechnic College for four years, where he was the year book editor in his junior year.

He met his future wife, Joy Eileen Ruzi at a youth group at Church of the Open Door in Los Angeles when she was 15 and he was 17. They were married by Pastor J. Vernon McGee two year later. They were blessed with first three daughters, Sherrie, Susan (who died of cancer three years ago) and Kathleen. Then, happily came a son, Wesley Jr. Now everything was perfect.

The first 20 years after graduating from Cal Poly Wes was involved in a much enjoyed career in Landscape Architecture and wholesale nursery, but then God tapped him on the shoulder and picked him to serve Him in the pastorate.

Wes, Joy, and the four children moved to Dallas, Texas so he could attend Creswell Theological Seminary. The plan was for two years, but ended up being six, and he earned his Master’s Degree. He said it was worth every minute of it to prepare him to serve our great God and to preach the Gospel of Christ wherever God would lead him.

For the next 30 years Wes pastored first in Prospect, Oregon, then in Myrtle Creek at First Baptist Church at the corner of N. Myrtle and Lillian Streets, and then in Bingen, Washington. He lovingly left his last church, while still preaching at the age of 80 years old. He and Joy then moved back to Myrtle Creek where he taught an adult Sunday School class back at First Baptist Church.

Wes was always positive in his attitude. No matter what happened he would say, “It will be fine, the sun will still come up tomorrow morning,” “This too shall pass,” and “God is still on the throne.”




Wes is survived by his wife Joy of 68 years, his 3 children, 18 grandchildren, and 30 great grandchildren.

A Life Celebration will be held Sunday, March 21, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Myrtle Creek, 1040 Lillian Street, Myrtle Creek, Oregon.

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