Eadie L. Koch
Eadie L. Koch, the "oldest living magician's assistant in captivity," died peacefully on 9/22/2020. Predeceasing her: husband Edward Koch; parents Rudolph & Myrtle Ruhe; siblings Delbert, Ervin, Beverly (Mathew Gardner) & Norman Ruhe; & daughter Linda Saulsbury. Surviving family: daughter & son-in-law, Gail & Edward Mickelson; grandchildren Scott & Chad Mickelson & Rebecca Saulsbury; grandson-in-equity Joseph Pearcy; granddaughter-in-law Sherry Mickelson; & great-granddaughter Ella Mickelson. Beloved extended family & friends survived her, including Esther Karl, Scott Miller, & Patty Mather & Robert Wiza.
She enjoyed & taught lifelong skills: canoeing, camping, biking, swimming, bowling, skiing, working with children, scouting with Girl Scouts & Boy Scouts, reading & writing books, & playing the harmonica. With her family for 46 years, she made scratchboard etchings, Ozark folk toys, & "Magic Kits for Magic Kids" for sale at art & craft fairs. She was a canoe instructor & Red Cross water safety instructor 30+ years in Milwaukee/Waukesha. She worked for 11 years with West Allis Recreation Department. She was a Milwaukee Area Girl Scout for 28 years, 3 as a girl & 25+ as an adult member, advising Milwaukee Mariner Flagship & volunteering/directing summer day camps. She edited "Life on the H2O," a Girl Scouts song collection.
31 years after graduating high school, she started college, earning Bachelor of Science (1970) & Master of Science Exceptional Education (1973) from UW-Milwaukee. She taught special education in Racine Unified School District & then worked as a Special Education Media Resource Specialist. She helped sell internationally students' books authored by Wadewitz Light & Bright Writers Club to purchase adaptive playground equipment. Wisconsin's Dept. of Public Instruction distinguished her with the District Teacher of the Year Award Special Services 1978. She founded & organized the Very Special Arts Program for Racine & Kenosha public schools at UW-Parkside from 1980 to 1992, later named the Eadie Koch Special Arts Festival.
She canoed & portaged along Boundary Waters, whitewater rafted in Colorado, & canoed/kayaked with family, friends, & other Boy Scouts in Wisconsin rivers & Ozark National Scenic Riverways. She helped her family perform magic for schools', libraries', non-profit groups', & others' events as Scott the Great and Company, a family magic troupe for 40 years, encouraging & promoting their talents.
A graveside memorial service occurred at Highland Memorial Park, New Berlin, WI, on Oct. 10, 2020, at 11:00 AM. Donations to the Eadie Koch memorial bench at the Milwaukee County Zoo are welcomed.
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Published by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Apr. 28 to May 6, 2021.