Shirlene Nightengale Koehn was born to John and Eva Wedel Nightengale on February 15, 1936, near Fairview, Oklahoma. The angels came and gently carried her home early in the morning of June 14, 2022, after a brief stay at the Murray-Calloway County Hospital. She was 86 years old.
Shirlene’s childhood years were spent on the family farm. As one of seventeen children, there was always plenty to do. She learned to work cheerfully at a young age.
She felt God calling her and was converted and baptized into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite on January 28, 1952, by Minister Dan Smith at Fairview, Oklahoma. Mom treasured her walk with the Lord and her life exemplified a simple, trusting faith in God. On May 20, 1962, Mom was united in marriage to our dad, Don Koehn, by Minister Elmer Boehs at Fairview, Oklahoma. They enjoyed over 44 years together before Dad passed away on December 31, 2006.
Soon after their marriage they spent two years in Denver, CO doing humanitarian work. In time their home was blessed with two sons and one daughter. Mom loved her family and her home, always seeing the best in us. She enjoyed the simple things of life and had a deep appreciation for nature. She especially loved all kinds of flowers. As grandchildren, we always knew we were treasured and loved by grandma as she willingly opened her heart and home to us.
Shirlene was a friend to everyone. We will always remember the twinkle in her eye and her wonderful sense of humor. In Sunday School, we loved to hear what she would say, and were never disappointed with her wisdom and common sense. At Christmas we all looked forward to her recitation of the poem “The Christmas Guest”. She knew it perfectly by memory. Simple picnics and evenings spent with friends were special to her.
Mom encountered the challenges and disappointments in life with an underlying acceptance of those things she could not change. During one of these hard times, she was pouring out her heart to God, telling Him all about it. Suddenly, she said, she had the distinct feeling that God was looking down and smiling on her, and peace flooded her heart. A little later, the song “Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled my Soul” came to her. This experience remained precious to her.
She enjoyed good health most of her life, until about a month ago when she suffered a stroke that greatly affected her mobility. Even though this caused her to lose her independence, she remained patient and quiet in her spirit. Amid her suffering, she still inspired and blessed us with her gracious, sweet smile.
Her survivors include one son, Charles and Jan, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and one daughter-in-law Cathy Koehn, Fairview, Oklahoma. Ten grandchildren, Juan Rivera, Murray, Kentucky; Angel Garcia, Mayfield, Kentucky; Gabi and Braun Becker, Walker, Missouri; Alex and RaDean Holdeman, ElCampo, Texas; Ana and Caleb Jesser, Victoria, Texas; Kevin Koehn, Weatherford, Oklahoma; Kyle Koehn, Weatherford, Oklahoma; Kent Koehn, Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Preston Shantz, Bartlesville, Oklahoma; and Tanner Koehn, Corvallis, Oregon; eleven great-grandchildren; three brothers, Roger and Lori Nightengale; Floyd and Carolyn Nightengale; A.J. and Paula Nightengale; two sisters Waunita Koehn and Rita and Vic Koehn. She was proceeded in death by her parents, her husband, one daughter, one son, one granddaughter, one great-granddaughter and eleven siblings.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation for all the acts of kindness shown to Shirlene during this time with special thanks to Art and Angela Litwiller, Brad and Robyn Wedel and Woody and Shirley Fast.
A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at the Harmony Mennonite Church. Burial will follow in the Harmony Mennonite Church Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., on Friday, June 17, 2022, at the Harmony Mennonite Church. An additional visitation will be held prior to the funeral service from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at the Harmony Mennonite Church.
Online condolences can be made at, www.thejhchurchillfuneralhome.com