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Philip C. Koontz

May 13, 2021

Philip Clyde Koontz, age 72, died suddenly May 13, 2021 at his home in Newton.  Phil was born in Beatrice, Neb on June 30, 1948 to Rev Elbert and Ruth Schroeder Koontz.  He graduated from the Hillsboro public schools and Bethel College.  He married Sondra Kay Bandy in Hesston on September 4, 1970. They celebrated 50 years together in 2020.


At age 16, Phil was baptized in the Mennonite Church by his father.  He became a faithful member of the Bethel College Mennonite Church where he served as a member of the worship and trustee commissions.


Throughout high school and college, Phil and his brothers ran a custom combine crew.  Phil was the crew’s mechanic.  This business enabled Phil to graduate debt free from college.  He was always astounded at the trust his father placed in three young men.


Phil was employed at Price Bros Equipment, Wichita, for 40 years where he worked on industrial equipment.  He loved a mechanical problem and was known at work and in the family for his strong work ethic and his ability to fix anything.  He retired in 2012.


Music was one of Phil’s passions.  While in college, he sang with Bethel’s madrigals, concert choir, and male quartet.  At church he sang in the chancel choir and played in the bell choir.  He was a choir and board member of the Newton Chorale, and for more than 40 years, he sang in the Wichita Symphony Chorus.


Another passion was cars.  While the family lost count of the number of cars Phil owned, Phil did not.  He could recite details about every one of them and all the cars he saw on the road.  Phil loved to read history, memoirs, and biographies.  He enjoyed traveling, and with Sondra toured 17 foreign countries and all but two of the fifty states.  Give him a map to look at and he was busy for hours.


Phil was a man of integrity, honesty, and kindness, a gentle man of subtle humor, reserved until he knew you well, and always curious about how things worked.


Phil is survived by his beloved wife Sondra Bandy Koontz, two brothers:  Theodore (Gayle) of Goshen, IN and Richard (Barbara) of North Newton, 1 niece and 4 nephews, and ten great nieces and nephews with another on the way.  He treasured these family relationships and his many friends.


Public visitation (no family present) at the funeral home from 3 – 8 p.m., May 19.  A limited seating memorial service will be held Thursday, May 20, at 1:30 p.m. at the Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton.   A public graveside service in Greenwood Cemetery follows at 3 p.m.  Memorials may be sent to the Bethel College Music Department or the Bethel College Mennonite Church in care of Petersen Funeral Home, 215 N. Main, Newton, KS 67114.


Please go to https://bethelcollegemennonitechurch.org for live stream service information

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10 thoughts on “Philip C. Koontz

  1. Phil was a special friend as well as a fellow church choir member, and I’m so sorry I won’t be able to visit with him any more or hear him singing!

  2. Phil was a fine person and a good friend. He was a mainstay of our Chancel Choir for so many years! In addition to being a fine singer, he had a gentle good humor that was appreciated by all of us. We will miss him greatly!

  3. I was privileged to sing with Phil on numerous occasions, one of which was the Bethel College 1970 quartet known as “The Versatiles.” I enjoyed Phil’s sense of humor in the group and his attention to serious detail when working on the music. He will be missed in the BCMC Chancel Choir.

  4. Phil and Sondra were amazing neighbors and Phil was such a great guy. He was always involved in some interesting project, usually mechanical. I have missed having him as a neighbor and he will truly be missed now.

  5. Sondra, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Phil was a very special person and I know he will be missed.

  6. Sondra, I was so saddened to see Phil’s obituary in today’s newspaper. I just wanted you to know I am thinking about you.

  7. I knew Phil from our time at Price Bros. He was always the kindest guy and he had a sort of dry sense of humor. I enjoyed hearing about the trips he and Sondra took. I was really surprised and sad to read of his passing.

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