Katharine J. Koch, 89, of Pompton Plains, formerly of Upper Saddle River, died Saturday, March 2, 2019.
Born in Niagra Falls, NY, Katie was the daughter of George and Elsa Connell. Raised in Upstate New York, she earned her degree in nursing from the University of Rochester. While studying there, she met and fell in love with a fellow student, Raymond Koch. The couple were married in 1951.
Settling first in Paramus, they welcomed five children to their family before moving to Upper Saddle River, where they lived for more than 43 years. Once her children were all in school, Katie started her career as a nurse, working in nursing homes before becoming a school nurse, employed first at the Bogart Elementary School in Upper Saddle River, and later at Pascack Valley and Emerson High Schools.
While living in Upper Saddle River, Katie and Ray were very active members of the Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church, where Katie sang with the choir. Music was one of her favorite pastimes, and she also enjoyed singing with the Ramapo Valley Sweet Adelines for many years.
Katie was an artist on many levels, and loved to write poetry, especially to celebrate special occasions, and also enjoyed drawing and painting. She was a gifted gardener, and loved to beautify their yard in Upper Saddle River with flowers, especially daisies.
Katie and Ray moved to Cedar Crest Village in Pompton Plains about 15 years ago, and greatly enjoyed being active with the Protestant Community there. They continued to practice their faith in the community, and once again enjoyed being a part of the choir. Katie also continued to practice gardening, and could often be found toiling in her community plot at the retirement center.
Katie is survived by her children, Peggy Pezzi and her husband Bob, Nancy Schiemer and her husband Jim, Raymond H. Koch, Jr. and his wife Nancy, Eric Koch and his wife Liz, and Joanne Secola and her husband Gene; her grandchildren, Lauren Tilley and her husband Eddie, Matthew Koch and his wife Megan, Tricia Koch, Michael Schiemer and his wife Amy, Jimmy Schiemer and his wife Won Young, David Schiemer, Kevin Koch, Timmy Koch and his wife Kathryn, Brian Koch, Justin Pezzi and Christine Pezzi; as well as her great-grandchildren, Leo Theroux, Ellie Schiemer, Colin Schiemer, Hudson Koch, Everett Tilley, and Logan Tilley. She was predeceased by her husband, Raymond H. Koch, and her siblings, Joseph Connell and Margaret LeVan.
Visiting hours will be Tuesday, March 5, from 4-7 pm at the M. John Scanlan Funeral Home, Pompton Plains. A funeral service will be held 11 am Wednesday, March 6, at Bergen Highland United Methodist Church, 318 West Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. Burial will follow at George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus.
In lieu of flowers donations to Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church or a charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated by Katie's family.