Ruth Simpson Koch of Athens, GA, died December 23, 2011. Beloved wife of George Schneider Koch, Jr., Ruth is remembered by her family and friends as a warm and compassionate individual. She was above all a clear thinker, able to reason through situations to their essence. She enjoyed playing tennis, sang in several choirs, and was active in Unitarian Universalist churches. Throughout her life, Ruth was a hard, energetic, and competent worker. Among other occupations she taught elementary school and special needs children and worked with her husband in consulting and research and in the family manufacturing business. Ruth Simpson was born in Dodge City, Kansas on July 15, 1927, the daughter of Clof Simpson and Flora Williams. Raised by her mother, in 1944 they moved to Houston, Texas. Ruth graduated from Rice University in 1948, and also received an M.A. degree from the University of Georgia. Ruth and H.G. Whittington, MD, were married in 1948. They were the parents of four children: Gregory, Leslie, Kirk, and Sara. The marriage ended in 1969, and in 1973 Ruth married George and moved to Athens. Her eldest son, Gregory Whittington, died in 1991 from complications of AIDS. His partner, Parker Hodges, who regarded Ruth and George as his parents, died later the same year. Her eldest daughter, Leslie Whittington, husband Charles Falkenberg, and their two small daughters Zoe and Dana Falkenberg, were murdered by terrorists on board American Airlines flight 77 at the Pentagon on 9/ll. Ruth is survived by her son, Kirk Whittington and his wife, Ingrid; and by her daughter, Sara Guest and her husband, Jackson and their granddaughter, Toni Guest. Her brothers Roderic (Zelma) Simpson and Stanley (Patricia) Simpson survive her. Ruth is also survived by her stepchildren Sarah Kochav, Eric Koch, and Jonathan Koch, and by step-grandchildren Dana Katz, Raphael Katz, Ilana Katz, Nixie Koch, Piper Koch, and Corvin Koch. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 PM on January 7, 2012 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, 780 Timothy Road. A second memorial service will be held on January 15, 2012 at the First Presbyterian Church in Dodge City, Kansas. Memorials may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens. Her family and friends share in the sentiment expressed by one of her grandchildren, She was an exceptionally kind and thoughtful person who was very caring towards others.
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Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Dec. 28, 2011