Bessie Marie Kastl

Thursday, November 10, 2016
Bessie Marie Kastl

Bessie Marie Kastl, 95, Topeka, Kan., peacefully passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 8. She was born April 20, 1921, in Mapleton, Kan. The daughter of Albert and Rowena (Alexander) Needham, she was the youngest of 10 children.The Needham family, originally from Kincardine, Ontario, Canada, settled in Mapleton, Kan.

Bessie graduated from Blue Mound High School in 1939. While living in Mapleton, she met her true love and future husband, Eldon L. Kastl. They were married in Fort Scott, Kan., on Dec. 24, 1942

Bessie worked as a telephone operator for Southwestern Bell, and during WWII, she worked at Sunflower Ammunition Company. Bessie and Eldon moved frequently due to his career with Southwestern Bell. They lived all over southeast Kansas, in Independence, Coffeyville, Fort Scott and Parsons. They retired in Topeka, and finally settled down in Independence, Mo. Despite all the relocations, Bessie always managed to make life-long friends wherever she went. She was very active in her local church and supported her husband in his lay ministry work with The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ. Bessie will be best remembered as a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, for her selfless acts of kindness and helping others, whether they were strangers, friends or family in need, and for her joyful spirit and unwavering faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Eldon, her beloved husband of 58 years, preceded her in death. Bessie was also preceded in death by her daughter Roberta Long; her parents; brothers: Alvin, Richard, and Delmer; and sisters: Verna, Lula, Ada, Ruby, Nina, and Hazel.

She is survived by her children; Vicki (John) Moomaw, of Topeka and Ron (Marileen) Kastl of Manhattan, Kan.; grandchildren: Angela (Jeff) Byrd; Amanda (Matt) Frost; Andrea (Ben) York; J. Tyler (Beth) Kastl, Ryan (Alicia) Kastl, Kevin (Shelly) Long, Tammy (Mike) Simmons; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be on Monday, Nov. 14 at 10:30 a.m., at Cheney Witt Funeral Chapel in Fort Scott, Kan. The Celebration of Life will follow at 11:30 a.m. Bessie will be laid to rest at Fort Scott National Cemetery following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Midland Care Hospice House, Topeka, Kan., or Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Independence, Mo., and may be sent to the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS, 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at