FORT BRANCH, Ind. Vernita M. Kuester, 93, passed away peacefully Monday, March 9, 2009, at Gibson General Hospital.

She was born October 20, 1915, to Joseph and Anna (Kiesel) Schaefer and raised on a farm southeast of Fort Branch. She was a lifetime homemaker and farmers wife.

She was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church and a charter member of St. Bernadette's Auxiliary (1937). She loved her husband, family, dancing and talking to people. We will miss her and may God be with her.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Arnold Kuester (April 1, 2007); sisters, Frances Seib, Marie Goedde, Cecilia Baehl and Mildred Sensmeier; and brothers Edwin Schaefer and Paul Schaefer.

Vernita is survived by four daughters, Jo Ann (Mike) Marquess of Arkansas, Coleen (Wayne) King of Huntingburg, Celesta (Richard) Thompson of Sullivan and Bernadine (Bill) Read of Elberfeld; three sons, Fred (Martha) Kuester of Fort Branch, Devon (Janet) Kuester of Fort Branch and Thomas Kuester of Tennessee; twenty-one grandchildren; and thirty-seven great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial will be 11 a.m. Friday, March 13, 2009, at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Fort Branch, Indiana, with Reverend Father Tony Ernst, Reverend Father Gary Kaiser, Reverend Father Bernard Lutz, Reverend Father John Silva, and Deacon Steve Hall officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

Friends may call from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the Stodghill Funeral Home in Fort Branch, with rosary services at 7:30 p.m. and St. Bernadette's Auxiliary memorial service immediately following. Friends may also call from 10 a.m. until Mass time at the church on Friday, March 13.