Mary Ruth Koch of Bemus Point, N.Y., passed away Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, in her home.
Mary was born May 4, 1917, in Jamestown to the late Orry B. and Catherine Heath.
She graduated as an honor student from the Jamestown High School (Orphan) class of 1935. Mary continued her education at Fredonia Normal School, graduating in 1938.
Mary Ruth Koch
Upon graduation she taught for three years in a one-room schoolhouse. She taught at the Bemus Point Elementary School and retired from Panama Central School in 1973 where she taught kindergarten for 17 years.
Mary was a member of the "Fredonia Club," a group of women who all graduated in 1938 and kept in touch monthly enjoying luncheons together. A member of the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Mary enjoyed the Dorcus Circle, where she helped make many quilts and was active in the church.
On June 24, 1939, she married Howard J. Koch and together they enjoyed bowling, going to Canada on fishing trips, cruises and traveling around the United States. She loved to read the newspaper every day, knitting, sewing and working in her flowerbeds. Having a window of nature in her back yard, she loved watching the birds, deer, wild turkeys and all that nature provided. The real love of Mary's life was teaching children.
Mary is survived by four daughters, Sue (John) Whitman, Barbara (Gerald) Mallow, Margaret Koch and Marie (Carlton) Sturgeon; seven grandchildren, Christopher Whitman, Richard Nowak, Yvonne Doverspike, Peter Nowak, Corrine Campbell, Jennifer Lockerby and Benjamin Lockerby; and 15 great-grandchildren.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Howard Koch; her sisters, Alice, Lucile and Catherine; and by her brother, Wilson.
A graveside service to celebrate Mary's life will be held on Saturday, July 6 at the Bemus Point Cemetery at 4 p.m. The Rev. Dayle F. Keefer, pastor of Fluvanna Community Church, will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chautauqua County Humane Society, 2825 Strunk Rd., Jamestown, N.Y. or to Hospice Chautauqua County, 20 W. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, N.Y.