Sharon Kay Koens, age 82, of Garretson, passed away on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at the Avera Dells Area Hospital in Dell Rapids. Funeral services will begin at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, October 3, 2017, at the Zion Lutheran Church, Garretson. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 PM Monday, at the Minnehaha Funeral Home, Garretson.
Sharon was born on December 13, 1934, in Lake Wilson, Minnesota, to Dr. Everil Dwain and Mildred Lorrain (Rhodes) Merkley. She attended grade school in Jasper, Minnesota, and high school in Mexico City, Mexico, and Mankato, Minnesota, graduating from Mankato High School. She completed nurses training at the Miller Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. On July 30, 1955, she married Frank Koens Jr. at Highland Lutheran Church north of Sherman. Sharon was a nurse at a doctor’s office in Garretson, and at Sioux Valley Hospital in Sioux Falls. She later worked as a legal secretary at the Theodosen Law Office in Garretson, and for the WIC Program in Sioux Falls. She was also a finance officer for the City of Garretson from 1968-1976.
Sharon was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church in Garretson, Zion Lutheran Church Women, and the American Legion Auxiliary, where she served as President in 1963. She also served for 9 years on the board of the Palisade Manor Nursing Home.
A beautifully intelligent woman and voracious reader, Sharon would spend hours a day reading and solving crossword puzzles. She was very disciplined, organized, and service orientated. She was a loyal friend to those fortunate enough to have her in their lives. She enjoyed plants and flowers, taking great care in tending to them. A devoted family woman, Sharon took tremendous joy in visiting her children. She was a constant supporter of her grandchildren, attending numerous recitals and sporting events. She hosted many family meals over the years and was loving and generous. Her husband Frank was her constant companion.
Survivors include her husband, Frank Koens Jr., Garretson; children: Catherine Sena (Charlie) Frager, Dell Rapids, David Dwain Koens, Yankton, Roger Alan (Debra) Koens, Dell Rapids, and Mary Kay (Robert) Vavala, Lincoln, Nebraska; grandchildren: Cindy (David) Porter, Alyssa Koens, Erin (Michael) Rinehart, Nathan Koens, Dominic Vavala, Adrian Vavala; great-grandchildren, Emily Porter and the anticipated arrival of Baby Rinehart; sisters: Nancy Rangel, Mexico D.F., and Barbara Edmundson, Garretson; and a brother, Randy (Laurie) Megard, Sioux Falls; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Everil Merkley and Mildred Merkley Megard, and her step-father, Ben Megard.