Obituary: Lillyan Koehn

Lillyan Koehn
(Photo Courtesy of Julie Koehn)

Lillyan Koehn, 19, died in a car crash on March 10 in Newton, Kansas. She was a freshman in bakery science at Kansas State, played volleyball and soccer throughout her childhood and joined Alpha Chi Omega this past fall. She was a Christian from a young age and volunteered at summer camps for her church.

Lillyan was a funny, confident person who was driven and joyful, Julie Koehn, Lillyan’s mother, said.

“When she got into high school she would volunteer to mentor and work with middle school girls that were in our church, and she’d go to church camp with them, braid their hair, kick the soccer ball around,” Julie said.

Julie said Lillyan never planned on going to K-State, but after a college visit to Manhattan, she started wearing purple and knew instantly where she wanted to be.

“She really, really loved Christian Challenge on Thursday nights,” Julie said. “She loved being part of Alpha Chi O things. She loved that coach [Jerome] Tang showed up for dinner with their sorority, and they got to dance with coach Tang.”

Julie said Lillyan was heading home for spring break to enjoy time with her family and the love of her life Parker Dameron. Dameron said he and Lillyan met working at BARN’RDS in June 2020.

Dameron said one of his favorite memories with Lillyan was traveling to a dirt road a couple miles outside of town and escaping the world.

Coleman Koehn, Lillyan’s older brother, said Lillyan got into baking and nutrition in high school, and she baked at their house all the time.

“She was making stuff for me that had like, no sugars, zero carbs, and tasted amazing,” Coleman said. “Like it was insane. She just had a gift with that. Her dream was to open a bakery with the degree that she was going to get through K-State.”

Meredith Frahm, Lillyan’s high school friend in her sorority, received a bid for Alpha Chi as well. Frahm said they were both excited to see each other since they had a gap of time away from one other.

“It was just so fun to see someone that I knew and could immediately feel comfortable with.” Frahm said. “Obviously when you meet new people, you can get kind of nervous. But, honestly, [I] didn’t feel that way because she was there and she was always just someone that you could lean on and rely on.”

Abbie Banyas, Lillyan’s big in Alpha Chi, said the two talked for a few minutes on bid day and connected immediately. Banyas said Lillyan brought her closer to the sorority.

“She made me feel like she’s a part of my actual family, which is really nice to have a friend like that in the sorority, and we just have fun together,” Banyas said. “We’d go get food, watch movies, laugh, talk about life. We’re just great friends, and that’s what the big-little relationship is supposed to be.”

Julie said her family loved her more than words could express.

“She was our sunshine — our joy. And I’m so glad that I never failed to tell her how proud we were of her and how much joy she brought us,” Julie said. “I told her that all the time, so no regrets, and I know that she’s waiting for us.”

Lillyan is preceded in death by her grandfather, Dr. Coleman Scott, and survived by her parents, Warren and Julie Koehn of Wichita; siblings, Dr. Garrett (Renee) Koehn, and niece, Magnolia Grace, of Salina, Dr. Madalyn (Preston) Whitmill of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Coleman Koehn of Manhattan; foster brother, Little Garrett of Wichita; love of her life and boyfriend, Parker Dameron of Goddard, Kansas; grandparents Ruth Ann Scott of Wichita; Larry and Bev Koehn of Newton, Kansas; aunts, Sherry Koehn, Ginger (Kevin) Sauerwein, Jennifer (Scott) Brown; uncle, Shawn (Beatriz) Scott; as well as seven beloved cousins.

To add a tribute, memory, story or photograph for Lillyan, visit her MyKeeper page.

Editor’s note: Added a picture of Lillyan Koehn with Parker Dameron to the photo gallery.

I'm Carter Schaffer, the editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously I wrote for the news desk and did some photo/video work. I am a senior in mass communications with an emphasis in journalism, and I hope to work in news or video production one day. I've also interned at The Well News in Washington, D.C., through TFAS. I grew up in Andover, Kansas, home of the Andover Trojans, and I've been a Wildcat all my life.