Esther M. (Trendel) Buell, 97, Osage City: March 7, 1925 – Sept. 26, 2022 – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Esther M. (Trendel) Buell, 97, Osage City: March 7, 1925 – Sept. 26, 2022

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – It is with the heaviest of hearts that we mark the passing of our mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, and sister, Esther M. (Trendel) Buell. She left this world peacefully March 7, 1925, in her home at Peterson’s Assisted Living, Osage City, Kan., of natural causes, at the age of 97. Esther was born March 7, 1925, on her family’s farm near Michigan Valley, Kan., to Joseph and Erna (Schmidt) Trendel.

She had three brothers, Edward, Dean and  Bob, and two sisters, Francis and  Margaret.  All have preceded her in death except Bob, who was the closest to Esther in age.  They had a special bond.  They all lost their mother, Erna, in 1934, when Esther was 9.  Grandpa refused to split the children up (as his sisters counseled) and the oldest child and daughter, Francis, came back to the farm to help Grandpa raise the children.  Francis was a loving and nurturing presence in all their lives, as we who were their children can attest.  We all are thankful to Aunt Sissy for this, as we are the recipients of all that love and care.

Esther graduated in 1943 from Michigan Valley High School and she continued to enjoy going back to all school reunions, as long as they were being held.  She worked for Santa Fe Railroad and at the depot at Forbes Air Force Base, Topeka, Kan., where she met Dave’s father, Eugene Tolle. David was born in 1946.  That marriage ended in divorce, and in 1955 Esther married Russell Israel, of Overbrook, Kan.  They had one child, Terri.  That marriage ended in divorce, and in 1962 she married Ervin Buell, after moving Dave and Terri to Topeka.

Esther, with short breaks, worked her entire life.  She was a receptionist for the Cotton O’Neil Clinic, Topeka, and for Dr. Rex Wright, chiropractor.  She sold insurance for Mutual of Omaha, where she met Erv.  That marriage precipitated a move in 1966, to Olathe, Kan.  Esther went to work for the Hyer Boot Company, and also managed the Hedrick Land Title Company for many years, on the square in Olathe.

After her divorce from Ervin Buell, she moved to Overland Park, Kan., and commenced her single life.  She eventually went to work as the night receptionist at The Atriums of Overland Park, a position she held for 17 years, retiring from there at the age of 87.  She made many friends there, and had many adventures on that swing shift, where she was often the only employee after their kitchen closed.

Esther loved music and had a beautiful singing voice.  When asked what she would have liked to be when she grew up she said “play piano and sing”.  She sang at weddings and funerals, and loved karaoke.  She was always dressed to the nines, and took exceptional care of her clothing and shoes, she loved shoes!  Her hair and skin were the envy of all, and she passed her love of all things shiny to Terri.  She loved to dance.  She traveled with Dave and Karen and Terri and Lawson and was included in all of their activities.

Due to failing health, when she was no longer able to live by herself, and after a fall, underwent rehab at Peterson’s Nursing Home.  She subsequently moved in April 2018 to Peterson’s Assisted Living.  There she found yet another family to love her, starting with Tricia Gundy, who encouraged us to have Esther move in.  It was the best decision we could have made for Mom, as she had love and care from all who worked there.  Tricia recognized Mon’s love of music and spent many hours in 2019 working with her on a song for a talent show associated with the fair in Osage City, and was her accompanist.  Mom won in her age bracket and was so thrilled with that $50 bill!  Tricia, along with Robert Brenner and Tricia’s staff, Tammie Butler, Sonya Whitmore, Mona Smith, Chelsea Gragg, Nancy Lamb, Zona Tucker, Karen Grubb and Kaitlin Vandevord became family to Esther, as well as David and me. Robert was Mom’s movie watching partner, viewing from the couch in the lobby.  Young men from Tricia’s church would come in to interact with the residents and played cards and Yahtzee with Esther.  Mom was safe from COVID-19 there, as they made it through the pandemic under the watchful eye and sacrifice of Tricia and her staff.  Peterson’s is a very special place, and we were greatly blessed to have her with these loving people, who have become our friends and family as well.  We know they are grieving with us.

At Christmas 2021, we placed Mom on hospice.  Tricia enlisted Avalon Hospice to help care for her. These caring and kind hearted people also became family to Mom.  The Avalon Angels are Amy Easum, Ikisha Reed, Morgan Musick, Carrie Joseph, Caroline Morrison, Leila Hayden and Tristan Willits. Our heartfelt thanks go out to them as well, their compassionate caring helped Mom her last 9 months on earth.

For one who lost her own mother so early, we were constantly amazed at her capacity for love and were certainly blessed by her presence as our mother.  She was fierce in her protection of us, and nothing stopped her from providing the best she could for us.  On top of being a full-time employee somewhere always (except for the first five years of Terri’s life) she was an exceptional homemaker and cook.  She made our house a home and always welcomed all our friends with open arms, many who still considered her their second mom.  She was included in any and all activities we were in.  Always ready to come help prepare for a big party, cleaning and cooking.  She stuck around for the after party clean-ups as well.  She was ever present in our lives, in all capacities.  She especially loved Christmas in Bixby, Okla., with Jeff and his family, as did we all.  She will be especially missed around the holidays.

Esther was first and foremost a loving mother to David Tolle (Karen), and Terri Israel-Barlow (Lawson); grandmother to Dave’s son, Jeff Tolle and his wife, Jocelyn; great-grandmother to Jared, Jessica and Jeremy Tolle; step-grandmother to Lawson’s daughter, Heather Perkins (Harry); great grandmother to Kody Kalb, Kristopher Carson, Clayton Carson, Hannah Grace Carson, Alex Carson and Jacob Spicer; great-great grandmother to Paisley, Stella and Kendall Ray.  She loved her siblings and the families they all had.  She dearly loved all her nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews.  We spent many weekends going back to the country from Topeka to Osage County and from Olathe to Osage County.  She was always ready and willing to help any and all who needed a hand, a loving shoulder to cry on, a mentor, a listening ear or a loving heart.

To celebrate Esther’s life, a memorial service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, at Lamb-Roberts-Price Funeral Home, 730 Western Heights Dr., Overbrook.  Inurnment will follow at the Overbrook Cemetery. The family will receive friends at 10 a.m. before the service hour.

Memorial contributions can be made to Avalon Hospice or Peterson Assisted Living, and sent in care of Lamb-Roberts-Price Funeral Home, PO Box 268, Overbrook, KS 66524. Condolences can be left at

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