Colleen C. Koch, age 83, of Billings, passed away on Sept. 14, 2018, after a long, courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by family.
Colleen was born on Aug. 7, 1935, to Thomas and Catherine Murphy. She was the youngest of seven children. Colleen attended school in Reliance, South Dakota, and graduated in 1953 and was valedictorian of her class. She married her high school sweetheart, Arnold L. Koch, on Aug. 12, 1953, and recently celebrated their 65th anniversary.
Colleen loved life and especially family, bringing joy to all through her love of cooking and her passion for holidays and Sunday family dinners. Her home was always open to others and she made everyone feel welcomed.
Colleen started her banking career with Security Bank and retired from First Interstate Bank. Following her passion for fashion and beauty, Colleen opened the Merle Norman Cosmetics studio in Billings, which she operated for seven years. Arnold and Colleen wintered in Arizona, where they were surrounded by so many dear and special friends.
Colleen is survived by her son, David (Brenda) Koch; daughters Paula (John) Lambrecht, Diana Rukstad, Bruce Rukstad and Suzanne (Stan) Severin; nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren; brother Stewart (Babe) Murphy and sister Dorthea (Peggy) Jensen.
Colleen is preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Catherine Murphy; siblings Laverne, Eugene (Bud) Murphy, Irene Cullen and Alvina Korves.
“You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived. You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back or you can open your eyes and see all she has left.” We love you and will smile each time we think of you. You touched our lives and you will be missed. Life will never be quite the same.
Vigil services will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave., with viewing from noon to 6 p.m. A funeral mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21, at St. Pius X Parish, 717 18th St. West. Interment will immediately follow mass at Calvary Cemetery, and a luncheon reception held in the St. Pius X Parish Social Center.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Colleen’s name can be made to American Cancer Society or to a charity of your choice.