Leslie “Butch” Koerber of St. James passed away Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at his home. He was 77 years of age.
Leslie, the son of the late Louis Henry and Maudie Rhea French Koerber, was born June 17, 1943 at the family home in Vienna, Missouri. He was united in marriage to Marlene Southard on November 17, 1962 at Broadway Baptist Church in St. James, MO, and to this union, one son was born.
In 1945, his family moved to Vichy where his dad had received a job working at the Vichy Airport.
He attended elementary school in Vichy for all 8 years with teachers Paul James, Helen John and Ray Tynes. He attended high school in Rolla where he met a wonderful teacher who encouraged his talent and love for numbers. In 1961, he graduated from Rolla High School.
Butch enlisted in the Missouri Army National Guard in March of 1964; he was a member of the 1438th Engineering Company in Rolla, MO. He received orders to report for active duty to Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in May 1964. He was released from active duty in October 1964. He served in the 1438th Engineering Company in Rolla for 11 years. He attained the rank of SP6-E6 being a personnel specialist.
He worked several jobs upon graduation. He worked at Ozark Equipment repairing small engines; a job in which he was not very fond of. His work career then led him to Montgomery Ward and Johnson, Stevens and Shinkel Shoe Factory, both located in Rolla and Quaker Window and Door Co. in Freeburg, MO. On March 15, 1962, he started working for the St. James Bank in bookkeeping. He really enjoyed the banking business. He liked the challenges of the mathematical calculations as well as helping to solve problems, but most of all, he loved helping people. He worked for the St. James Bank until May 1984. While working at the bank, he attained many positions working through the ranks to the position of Executive Vice President. He gained valuable experience in his positions as cashier, security officer, personnel officer, secretary of the board and bank board member.
His career continued in the finance business for the remainder of his career; he worked at Centere Bank in Rolla as a consultant and later for St. James Credit Company from 1986-2005 as Vice President and office manager. He contributed 43 years of service to the financial industry in the St. James and Rolla communities.
After leaving the St. James Bank, he received his diploma in Pastorial Ministries from the External Division of the Southern Baptist Seminaries in Nashville, Tennesse in 1984. He pastored several local churches: Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Bland, MO, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Steelville, MO, Spring Crest Mission in Rolla area and Winkler Baptist Church in St. James. He was instrumental in helping the Spring Crest Mission in achieving church status. His love for the Lord started when he was a young boy attending Broadway Baptist Church when he was a young teenager. At 17 years old, he became Sunday School Superintendent for the first time. He served as teacher for many classes: Juniors, Young Adults, Women’s, and Training Union as well as being a Training Union director. He and his wife, Marlene directed numerous Christmas programs and Vacation Bible Schools-more than they can remember. He was ordained as a deacon in January 1965. He served as chairman of the deacons for 20 years until he was ordained into the ministry. He was always quick to recognize the dedicated support that he received from Marlene and his son, Bruce in his years of ministry. Whether it was church work, farm work or work around the house, it was and is a family affair. After Bruce married and moved to Springfield, being only him and Marlene; it was still a family effort. He gave God many thanks for a supportive family. He has attended First Baptist Church in Rolla upon retiring from the ministry in 2005.
Butch enjoyed farming on his wife’s family farm. In 1976 after Marlene’s dad had passed away, they began raising feeder calves, moving to a cow-calf operation a few years later. They retired from farming around 2001.
He enjoyed supporting his community. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce while working at the bank; he worked many fall festivals collecting and counting money from the ticket booths, manning the cook shack and working the gates. For 11 years, he was a member of the American Legion Post 607; he served as Phelps County Commander, Post Commander and finance officer. He was a board member of the Veteran’s Home Assistance League for over 30 years.
He was active in Bruce’s activities as a youth; he was cubmaster for Pack 95 for 3 years and Unit Commissioner for Boys Scouts of America. He coached Kiwanis basketball for 3 years and baseball for 1 year.
Leslie is survived by his wife, Marlene of St. James; son, Bruce Koerber and wife, Robin of Nixa, MO; two grandsons: Bryson and Brayden Koerber; two sisters: Viola Anderson and husband, Charles of Troy, MO and Sharon Sullivan and husband, Bill of Lee’s Summit, MO; two sister-in-laws: Ann Koerber of St. James and Rosemary Koerber of Sun Prarie, WI; one brother-in-law: Rick Elliott of Fulton, MO and several nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Maudie Koerber; two brothers: Lawrence Koerber and Joe Koerber and two sisters: Bonnie Dillon and Sandy Elliott.
Visitation will be 6-8 PM Friday, December 4, 2020 at the Jones Funeral Home in St. James.
Funeral services will be 11 AM Saturday, December 5, 2020 at the First Baptist Church in Rolla with Bob Johnston officiating. Hymns, “Because He Lives,” " Just A Closer Walk with Thee" and “Amazing Grace” will be sung by Bruce and Beki Wade with Jeanette Ashley as pianist. Pallbearers will be Scott Anderson, Darrel Koerber, Greg Dillon, Jason Fuller, Kerry Feeler and Scott Feeler. Interment will be in the Broadway Memorial Cemetery in St. James, MO.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Building Fund and Broadway Memorial Cemetery.
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Broadway Memorial Cemetery
16651 MCR 439, St. James MO 65559
Broadway Memorial Cemetery % of Gary John
First Baptist Church Rolla, MO
801 N Cedar St., Rolla MO 65559