Vera ‘Jean’ Koch

Vera ‘Jean’ Koch

November 17, 1933—April 20, 2019


Vera “Jean” Koch of Alliance joined loving arms in heaven on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at the age of 85. She died from complications of the lungs and heart.

Jean was born November 17, 1933 to Alfred & Bessie (Mundt) Frost. She grew up on the family farm near Hemingford, graduating from Alliance High in 1951.

In 1954, Jean married cattle rancher Ray Koch, son of Alvin & Elsie Koch. The newlyweds made their home in a sod cabin at the family ranch in the Sandhills east of Ellsworth. They were married 52 years before Ray’s passing in 2006. Their union extended to 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

In 2009, Jean married Gene Lewis of Alliance and added 7 beloved stepchildren, 17 step-grandchildren and 9 step-great-grandchildren. Gene Lewis passed in 2013.

In 2015, Jean married Eugene Kleve of Alliance, adding three more stepchildren and 9 more step-grandchildren. Eugene passed in 2016.

Jean is survived by a sister Shirley (Paul) Jeske of North Platte and Jean & Ray’s five daughters: Sue (Bill, now deceased) Roberts of Alliance; Joyce (Jim) Laughery of Billings, MT; Sandra (Randy-partner) Burtis, of Alliance; Kathy (Monty) Koehler of Hastings, NE; and Lesa (Derek) Schwanebeck of Ellsworth. She leaves behind 14 grandchildren and eight greatgrandchildren, plus many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and step-families.

Funeral services will be held Friday, April 26 at 2:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Alliance. Jeanie Sedivy will officiate. Burial will follow in the Bingham Cemetery. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Thursday, April 25 from 1-7 p.m. with the family present to greet friends from 4-6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to, Regional West Hospice and the Alliance Volunteer Fire Department.

Friends may view an extended obituary and leave condolences at Bates-Gould Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

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