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Obituary by Gretchen J. Koch

I was born on December 26, 1935 in Schenectady NY. My family enjoyed
physical exercise a great deal. We climbed the Adirondack Mountains in
the fall and skied at local ski slopes in the winter. By age seven I learned to
ski and use a rope tow.

“In those days” there weren’t any restaurants or cozy rooms with
fireplaces for skiers to warm up in. There was a hut where skiers left
personal items and brown bag lunches while skiing. No one worried about
anything being stolen because that simply wasn’t done “in those days!”
(Of course we always left our cars unlocked with the keys in the ignition.)
Hymns were played over loudspeakers on the slopes on Sundays so
skiers could say they had gone to church.

I attended the local schools for my education from kindergarten through
high school, and graduated with a History of Art degree from Smith
College in Northampton, MA. I had the opportunity to travel to see works
of art I studied there. My most fulfilling employment was working with
brain injured clients, as a living skills trainer at PRALID in Rochester, NY.

I am survived by my special, wonderful best family of four nieces, and two
nephews-in-law Laurie Elwell (Richard Niess), Virginia Elwell, Adair Jensen
(Allan), and Jody Elwell; and two great nephews and their spouses and
children Ryan Niess (Jenna, and children Sawyer, Hendrix) and Spencer
Niess (Rita Bassett); as well as by my special, wonderful fun loving friends
of the First Wives Club, as we called our group. I was fortunate to be able
to visit my sister Holly Elwell and brother-in-law Bob and be with my
nieces as they grew up.

Thank you to the caring, excellent staff who provided my care while living
at St. Ann’s Home. You all were great.

Gretchen passed away peacefully at St. Ann s Home in Rochester, NY on
February 19, 2024.

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