Mary Ruth Koch

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.

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.

On June 24, 1939, she married Howard J. Koch and together they had four daughters: Sue (John) Whitman, Barbara (Gerald) Mallow, Margaret Koch, and Marie (Carlton) Sturgeon. Also surviving are seven grandchildren: Christopher Whitman, Richard Nowak, Yvonne Doverspike, Peter Nowak, Corrine Campbell, Jennifer Lockerby and Benjamin Locker-by; 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.

Mary was a member of the “Fredonia Club,” a group of women that 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.

Together with her husband, they enjoyed bowling, going to Canada on fishing trips, cruises and traveling around the United States. She loved to read her Post-Journal every day, knitting, sewing and working in her flower beds. Having a window of nature in her backyard, she loved watching the birds, deer, wild turkeys and all that nature provided. The real love of Mary’s life was teaching children.

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 Road, Jamestown, N.Y., or to Hospice Chau-tauqua County, 20 W. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, N.Y.