Larned - Esther A. Beer Long-time Larned resident and retired school teacher died Feb. 5, 2012 at the Larned HealthCare Center. She was 92. She was born on Nov. 21, 1919 to Roy and Eva Conard of Ash Valley. On March 4, 1943, she married Wayne E. Beer at Alexandria, LA. At the time, Wayne was serving in the U.S. Army in the States before shipping off to the European Theater. To this union was born six children: Steve, Onalee, Robert, Jeanne, James and John.
Esther Beer was a long-time elementary school teacher in the Larned area for almost 30 years. She was also a devoted homemaker, baking fresh bread daily and sewing many of her daughters' clothes before she went back to teaching after her youngest entered grade school.
Esther Beer had a great musical talent. In the 1950s and early 1960s she sang in a quartet along with three other farm wives. The quartet sang at various functions in and around Larned and even appeared on regional TV. Esther, who played piano, also formed a singing group with her six children. They sang at various grange functions.
Esther saved her five youngest children from a fire that destroyed the family's old farmhouse west of Larned during a raging blizzard in March of 1957. Escaping with only pajamas and blankets, Esther helped her children off the second-story of the burning building, took them to safety in a nearby barn and began the trek through deep snow to her nearest neighbors a mile away when a passing Kansas Highway Patrolman drove his patrol car to the farm and gathered Esther and the five children into his warm vehicle. Her husband, Wayne and eldest son, Steve, were at Wayne's parents' dairy farm helping milk dairy cows during the three-day blizzard.
After her retirement as a teacher, she would bake dozens of cookies each month to share with residents of the Larned State Hospital. She did this for several years. She also helped residents of the Dillon Ward in obtaining their GEDs and would proudly tell others of their accomplishments.
She was a long-time member of the United Methodist Church and sang in the choir for years. She was also a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW, DAR and CIC.
Esther A. Beer was preceded in death by her husband, Wayne; daughter Onalee Sherrid and son John Beer; her parents; brothers Harvey and Harley Conard; sisters Elsie Conard, Audrey Conard and Muriel Ready.
Survivors include four of her children: Steven Beer of Wichita, Robert Beer of Telluride, CO, Jeanne Beer of Larned and James Beer, also of Larned; grandchildren Tonya Long of St. Francis, MN, Kevin Beer of Puerto Rico, Kyle Beer of Newton, Stephanie Yahne of San Diego, CA, Daniel Sherrid of Jacksonville, Arkansas, and Sabrina Quinn of Larned as well as numerous great-grandchildren.
Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m. Saturday at the Beckwith Mortuary Chapel, Larned with the Reverends Bill Fitzgerrel and Jack Singer presiding. Visitation will be Thursday and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Mortuary. Interment will follow at the Larned Cemetery.
Memorials may be given to the United Methodist Church of Larned, in care of the Beckwith Mortuary, P.O. Box 477, Larned, KS 67550.