Kenneth Oesterle

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Kenneth W. Oesterle, 85, of Swansea, Ill., born November 16, 1934, in Belleville, IL, died Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at St. Paul Senior Community, Belleville, IL.

Mr. Oesterle was a graduate of Belleville Township High School and Belleville Junior College. He worked at St. Clair National Bank and retired as a senior vice president of the former Bank of Belleville, Belleville, IL.  Ken was a faithful, life-long member of St. Paul United Church of Christ, Belleville, IL, and served on the St. Paul Senior Community Board.  He enjoyed singing with the church choir for more than 60 years and belonged to the Barbershop Harmony Society.

Ken was an active member of the Westside Belleville Optimist Club for over 50 years. He served on the High Mount School Board and the Swansea Parks and Recreation Board. Ken enjoyed all sports and especially enjoyed meeting “the guys” at Bread Co and hosting poker games in his basement.  He was a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Evelyn J., nee Sauer, Oesterle; his parents, William and Katherine, nee Habelrauth, Oesterle; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Eugene and Helen Dahm.

Surviving are his wife, JoAnn Oesterle, nee Eifler;
two sons, Kevin (Jean Ellen) Oesterle, and Keith (Carolyn) Oesterle;
two granddaughters, Anna (Seth) Engelman, and Laura Oesterle;
a great-grandson, Oliver Engelman;
a sister-in-law, Shirley Holcomb;
two step-children, Blaine Mineman, and Ed (Kristine) Mineman; and their children.

Memorials may be made to St. Paul United Church of Christ, Belleville, IL, or to the Westside Optimist Club. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Private funeral services will be held. Burial of cremains will be at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, IL.


27 Comments on Kenneth Oesterle

Synthia & Terry Kalinowski said : Guest Report Oct 15, 2020 at 3:32 PM

Was so sorry to hear of your father/father in laws passing. Loss seems so much more difficult in this time of covid, I, Syndy, know as m y Dad passed this year too. We will miss seeing Ken in church and I know the shufflers will miss him as well. Praying for peace and comfort for you all.

  • Fairview Heights
  • IL
Darlene Kraemer said : Guest Report Sep 04, 2020 at 3:01 PM

Accept my sympathy on the passing of your father and your husband. You have many good memories to hold him in your hearts forever. I knew him as a neighbor while living in Swansea and also at church--he will be truly missed..

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Onnie Wargo said : Guest Report Aug 29, 2020 at 3:40 PM

I sang Tenor with Ken in the Belleville Philharmonic Chorus. He was one of my 3 Kens - Ken Oesterle, Ken Metze, and Ken Holmes (who died last week also). My condolences to the family.

  • Mascoutah
  • IL
Sharon Seibert said : Guest Report Aug 29, 2020 at 12:26 PM

Ken was a great friend he hired me at Bank of Belleville and I worked with him for many years. HA son do you remember working with me you all where great friends. The last time I saw Ken in person was on the bus to the football game. God bless you all

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Daniel Fry said : Guest Report Aug 28, 2020 at 11:08 PM

I enjoyed having Ken in the choir when I was Music Director at St. Paul, and after he retired from the choir I appreciated his regular presence in the sanctuary. He will be missed, and my condolences to his friends and family.

  • Quincy
  • IL
Annette Schmidt said : Guest Report Aug 28, 2020 at 12:31 PM

Kevin, Jean Ellen and Family - I am extremely sorry for your loss, and all of you are in my daily prayers. Hold onto all the memories and know that now a very, very special angel watches over each of you.

  • St. Louis
  • MO
Terry Woodford-Thomas said : Guest Report Aug 28, 2020 at 9:38 AM

I was so saddened to hear the news about Ken. He and my Dad, Charles Woodford, were "coffee club" friends. Ken was one of my Dad's favorites to meet up with weekly, to kid and joke around with, and have serious talks once in a while. I was privileged to join in from time to time. Ken was a witty, smart, and kind man. Our interactions were always warm and fun. Ken was a pallbearer for my Dad when he passed away unexpectedly on August 26, 2018. He is very special. Ken was a good friend to our family and he will be greatly missed. God bless him and his family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I'd like to think that Ken and Charles are busy trying to solve the world's problems over coffee in heaven about now. My love to you. May God's grace surround you and give you comfort. Terry in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Seattle
  • Washington
Gregory Voss said : Guest Report Aug 28, 2020 at 1:06 AM

Such a gentleman and so devoted to his dear wife! I am happy to have encountered Kenneth at St. Paul's Home.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Joyce and Bob Dintelmann said : Guest Report Aug 27, 2020 at 9:17 PM

Our sympathy to all the family. Ken was a real gentleman with a good sense of humor.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Vanessa Herzog said : Guest Report Aug 27, 2020 at 3:17 PM

I knew Ken as a child, had the opportunity to work for him and the pleasure to have him sing at our wedding. He was a respected man and a pleasure to know. Peace be with you at this sad time.

  • Swansea
  • Illinois
Tom Sautman said : Guest Report Aug 27, 2020 at 9:38 AM

My first neighbor and good friend. Kevin and Keith you have may condolence for your loss. I loss my wife, Lucille May 31, 2020.

  • Swansea
  • IL
Lisa Hoppe said : Guest Report Aug 27, 2020 at 9:15 AM

Our deepest condolences to the Oesterle Family. We last saw Ken at a Magna reunion. He was always friendly and had a zest for life. He’ll be greatly missed. Lisa and Hal Hoppe

  • Columbia
  • Il
Linda Haider said : Guest Report Aug 27, 2020 at 9:08 AM

My sympathies and prayers to all of Ken's family. Although I haven't seen Ken in years, he was always so delightful and I loved his laugh and sense of humor. In your tears, I thought you would enjoy my favorite "Ken" story. Approximately 35 years, my ex-husband (Dan Haider) and I traveled to Las Vegas with Ken and Evelyn (along with another couple who worked at the Bank of Belleville). While standing in the airport waiting for our flight, Evelyn handed Ken her purse to hold while she was getting in her carry-on. We jokingly said to Ken that his purse matched his shoes. He then looked down at his shoes and realized he was wearing one black and one brown shoe. We all got a good laugh since that was the only pair he brought. If I remember correctly, he purchased a new pair out in Vegas, but we joked with him for years about matching shoes. I hope you remember his laughter, too. My condolences.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
Lynn Oesterle Kough said : Guest Report Aug 27, 2020 at 8:33 AM

My heart aches after hearing of the loss of Kenny. He was the oldest of the three Oesterle cousins. Kevin and Keith I’m sure your dad will be playing cards in heaven and singing in the heavens choir. Please accept my condolences.

  • Deerfield Beach
  • Florida
Terry Patterson said : Guest Report Aug 27, 2020 at 7:59 AM

Ken and I worked together at the Bank of Belleville when I came here after college. He taught me almost everything I knew about banking and was one of the finest persons I've ever had the privilege to be around. We played chess almost every day at lunch and he beat me most of the time! My most sincere condolences go to his boys, wife and family. He was truly a very fine person!

  • Swansea
  • IL
Osceola and Ken Mueller said : Guest Report Aug 26, 2020 at 8:07 PM

Kenny was a delight to know and so fun to sing with in choir! He had a beautiful voice and a great sense of humor! He will be missed! Sincere sympathies for the loss of this fine man, Kevin and Jean Ellen and Keith and Carolyn and family!

  • Ofallon
  • Il
Robert & Sara Amos said : Guest Report Aug 26, 2020 at 5:44 PM

Kevin and Family, we were very saddened to hear of your loss, Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. The Amos family

  • Lebanon
  • IL
Ellen Wittlinger said : Guest Report Aug 26, 2020 at 5:35 PM

Jo, Kevin, Keith, and families, David and I send our love and condolences. Remembering the many holidays spent with your family over so many years.

  • Haydenville
  • MA
Brian Heil said : Guest Report Aug 26, 2020 at 3:37 PM

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the monthly Monday night game with the guys as a guest with my dad. I enjoyed listening to their stories and needling Ken, he was always a good sport about it. Once I started having a family of my own I wasn’t able to attend, but always look back fondly to those nickle, dime, quarter games. Also the Xmas gala was always something I looked forward too and Ken’s Cutty Sark scotch. You’ll be missed Ken.

  • O Fallon
  • IL
Denise Schoppet said : Guest Report Aug 26, 2020 at 12:24 PM

Kevin, Keith, and family, The Schoppet family is so sorry to hear of Ken's passing. He was a wonderful guy, who was loved by all that knew him. He's in heaven now, having a real celebration reunion with your mom, my mom and dad, and the rest of the Wade, Oesterle, Habelrauth clan. God bless you all, and may he RIP. Love, Denise, Joe, Austin & Andy

  • Bethalto
  • IL
Bob &Judy Harms said : Guest Report Aug 26, 2020 at 11:40 AM

Kevin, Keith and family, very sorry for your loss. Your Dad (and Mom) were good friends and your Dad always kept the coffee group going.

  • Swansea
  • IL
Diana Heberer Trickey said : Guest Report Aug 26, 2020 at 10:34 AM

Kevin, Keith and family: I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are for your family at this sad time. Sincerely, Diana Heberer Trickey

  • Swansea
  • IL
Dawn Yates said : Guest Report Aug 26, 2020 at 9:02 AM

So sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Bethalto
  • IL
Stephenie Bauza said : Guest Report Aug 26, 2020 at 8:57 AM

Kevin, Keith and family, I am very sorry for your loss! Your dad was a wonderful man, he was a great asset to our choir, he often told some very funny "dad" jokes and I enjoyed playing Poker with him my husband and "the guys"! He will be missed!! Love Stephenie

  • Illinois
Donna Brown said : Guest Report Aug 26, 2020 at 8:51 AM

Kevin & Jean Ellen Please except my deepest sympathy in the loss of your Father & Father In Law. May the Lord give U strength through this difficult time. Thoughts & Prayers ?

  • Belleville
  • IL
Paul and Susan Jones said : Guest Report Aug 25, 2020 at 10:22 PM

Kevin, Jean Ellen, and Family, Paul and I were sad to see Ken's obituary today. And yes we agree, God's choir just got better by one voice!! Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with both of you and the entire Oesterle family at this time. Love, Paul and Sue Jones

  • Belleville
  • IL
George Percivall, 3rd said : Guest Report Aug 25, 2020 at 6:24 PM

I had the privilege of occasionally joining “the guys” at Bread Co with my dad and Mr Oesterle. Ken and I had a running debate on which the direction the ceiling fans turned. Good memories. My condolences for your loss.

  • Crofton
  • MD

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