Betty Koch Obituary

Betty R. Koch
Betty R. Koch

October 14, 1929 - July 6, 2021
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Contat Us
  • Videos
  • Guestbook
  • Photos
  • Services
  • Send Flowers


Elizabeth Rae Willis Koch

Betty Koch died peacefully on July 6th at her home in Des Moines, Iowa.

Born on October 14, 1929 to Donald and Frances Sears Willis, she was younger sister to Don and older sister to Harriet. A life-long resident of Des Moines, she graduated from Roosevelt High School and Drake University in music education. Smitten by love at first sight, Betty married Richard Koch in 1951, taught music for one year, then chose to stay home with their growing family.

A life-long member and active volunteer at Plymouth Church, Betty transcribed Braille for the Iowa Commission for the Blind for many years and volunteered from the first Planned Parenthood Booksale. After her children were grown, she returned to the classroom as a resource teacher at Smouse Opportunity School. She traveled the world with Dick in retirement.

Favorite Betty memories include piano compositions she tailored to the personalities of each grandchild for their fifth birthdays, cardigan sweaters knit for family, flannel pajamas sewn each year for Christmas, and humorous lyric rewrites “sung to the tune of…”.

Betty enjoyed her affiliations with Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, the Junior League, P.E.O. Chapter FY, the Comment Club, the Pioneer Club, the Colonial Dames, and the YaYas.

She enjoyed a good laugh, a good read, and a good game of bridge. She loved her family and many dear friends beyond measure.

Betty is survived by her children Susan Bridgford, Dutch Koch (Ella), Alan Koch (Karen, Cindy), Anne Gaer (Dave); grandchildren Clare Bridgford Wiseman (Cory), Grant Bridgford (Leah Ackerman), Richard Koch (Jessica), Hannah Koch, Lynn Haden (Jake), Marlys Koch (Ricky Burns), Emma, Willis and Charlie Gaer; ten great-grandchildren; and her sister Harriet Willis Huff. She was preceded in death by her husband Richard, her brother Don Willis, and her son-in-law Paul Bridgford.

Her family would like to acknowledge the tender care she received from Dr. Kevin Cunningham, Suncrest Hospice, Home Instead Healthcare, and the staff at Scottish Rite Park.

Betty will be remembered in a memorial service at Plymouth Congregational Church on Friday, July 16th at 10:30 in the morning with a luncheon immediately following in Waveland Hall. Masks are respectfully encouraged!

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Civic Music Association, 900 Keosauqua Way #113, Des Moines, IA 50309 or the Scottish Rite Park Good Neighbor Fund, 2909 Woodland Ave, Des Moines, IA 50312.






Memorial Service
Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
4126 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312
Friday, July 16, 2021
10:30 AM
- Show more -