Ilze Koch, of Portland, Indiana (84)


Ilze Koch, 84, of Portland, Indiana passed away May 12, 2023. She born June 18, 1938 in Indra, Latvia, the daughter of Karlis and Anna Jekabsons. She emigrated to the United States in 1950 after leaving Latvia in 1944 with her family in a horse-drawn wagon following the Soviet invasion of the country during World War II.

The Jekabsons family settled on a farm near Greenville, Ohio. She was a 1958 graduate of Greenville High School and a 1961 graduate of the Miami Valley Hospital School of Nursing, after which she became a registered nurse. Following her marriage to Jan Koch, they settled on a farm near Portland and she became a farm wife and full-time mom.

She was active in the Republican Party, served as a delegate to many Republican State and National Conventions, and worked for candidates at the local, state, and national levels. Her hobbies included photography, gardening, and public speaking on patriotism, citizenship, and civic duty. She was active in the Latvian communities in Indianapolis, Dayton, and Cincinnati, and was a member of the Plant, Hoe, and Hope Garden Club

She is survived by her husband Jan Koch of rural Portland, Indiana; three sons, Eric (Connie) Koch of Bedford, Indiana, Thane (Lori) Koch of Fort Recovery, Ohio, and Rainer (Denise) Koch of Flagler Beach, Florida; seven grandchildren, Jordan (Jessica) Koch of Spring Hill, Tennessee, Spencer Koch of Terre Haute, Indiana, Hunter (fiancée Dr. Hannah DeGroot) Koch of Westfield, Indiana, Alison (Rob) Vitolo of Cincinnati, Ohio, Tanner Koch of Fort Recovery, Ohio, Rily Koch of Jacksonville, Florida, and Evan Koch of Hollis, New Hampshire; two great-grandsons, Connor Koch and Nathan Koch of Spring Hill, Tennessee; and two sisters, Mara (David) Cox, of Greenville, Ohio, and Ilona (David) Reif, of Laramie, Wyoming; and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents, Karlis and Anna Jekabsons, and two sisters, Maija Carey and Selga Jekabsons of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Private funeral services will be conducted on Wednesday, May 17, at Zechar Bailey Funeral Home in Greenville, Ohio. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Koch family.