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Hendersonville - Gertrude Eileen "Trudy" Koch, 89, died Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at Park Ridge Hospital. Trudy was born on October 2, 1924 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada to the late Llano Albert Philpott and Blanche Hippach Philpott. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Walter F. Koch; her brothers, Glenn Philpott, Douglas Philpott; and her sister, Edith Sparling.
When she was six, her family moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee and later to Wilmington, North Carolina. She graduated from Fletcher Academy, then from Mountain Sanitarium and Hospital School of Nursing in Fletcher in 1947, where she worked as a registered nurse until she married Walter in 1948 and moved to Jacksonville, Florida. Upon Walter's retirement in 1960, the family moved back to the North Carolina mountains with their two young daughters. Trudy was foremost a loving wife, mother, and homemaker. She was a natural born nurse and when her children grew older she enjoyed a return to nursing part-time for a number of years in the Recovery Room at Memorial Mission Hospital. She was widowed in 1979 and moved from Oak Forest in Arden to a townhouse in Deerwood. In 2005, she moved to Fletcher Park Inn where she resided until her death.
Trudy was a faithful and founding member of Asheville North Seventh-day Adventist Church. In her active years she participated in many school, neighborhood, and civic organizations in the Arden area. She held leadership positions in her church, alumni association, and garden club (Garden Gate Club). She was an early volunteer at The Health Adventure and contributed to the Land of the Sky quilt displayed for many years at the Folk Art Center. She has met monthly for over five decades with other longtime members of an informal sewing club (originally to share sewing projects and more recently just for lunch). She had marked the December 20 meeting on her calendar to attend. She accompanied her husband, who had an adventurous sense of travel, on many trips across the US and Europe, being content in later years to stay home as dogsitter extraordinaire for Bebop, Quigley, and Molly McDougal, as her daughters inherited their father's wanderlust.
Trudy made lasting friendships over her life and maintained an extensive social network of cherished family and friends to the present day without benefit (or want) of computer or smart phones. She had a strong sense of style and humor. She had a warmth, a generosity of spirit, and a sentimental and kind nature that touched all who knew her.
She is survived by her daughters, Patricia J. Koch of Charlotte, Florie K. Rogers of Mills River; her sister, Olive Bauer of Porterville, California; sister-in-law, Martha Philpott of Harrisonburg, Virginia; many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews; and other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at the Asheville North Seventh-day Adventist Church, 364 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Church Building Fund at the preceding address.
An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting www.thosshepherd.com. Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of arrangements.
Thos. Shepherd & Son - Hendersonville
125 South Church Street
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Dec. 22, 2013