Lorena Lehman Koch
December 3, 1924 – September 3, 2019
Emma Lorena Lehman Koch passed away Tuesday, September 3, 2019 in Austin, Texas at the age of ninety-four. She was born December 3, 1924 in Bangs, Texas to Otto Lehman and Bettie Steinman and lived there until she graduated from Bangs High School in 1943 and moved to Springfield, Illinois with her husband Marvin, whom she married August 23, 1946 after he returned from service in Europe during World War II, for him to enter the seminary. They met in Bangs, Texas where they both attended school and were members of Grace Lutheran Church and its Walther League youth group nearby in Brownwood, Texas.
A funeral service for Lorena will be held Monday, September 9, 2019 at 10:00 AM at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Copperas Cove, TX. Following the funeral service will be a burial at Immanuel Lutheran Church Cemetery, Copperas Cove.
Lorena is survived by her sons (Robert, Douglas, and Roger), six grandchildren (Ysidra Williams, Zephyr van Dyke, Micah Koch, Kristopher Koch, Krystina Jakub, and Crystal Overby), and nine great-grandchildren (Erin and Emma Williams, Austin and Luke van Dyke, Calvin and Kaley Koch, Avery Koch, Riley Smith, and Ty Overby). She is preceded in death by Marvin, her son Dennis, and her siblings Norman, Art, and Ollie.
Lorena grew up in the Great Depression, and that experience had a profound effect on her view of life. Her paternal grandfather emigrated to Texas from Germany in the 1870’s and, starting with a quarter (so it was said), acquired seven sections (square miles) of farming and ranching land extending from Brownwood to west of San Antonio and apparently considered at one point purchasing additional holdings in Mexico. Despite this relative wellbeing, a continuing effort involving industriousness, self-sufficiency, and frugality seemed to be a necessity for survival in difficult economic times, and her family cultivated much of their own food in huge gardens and fields and raising chickens, ducks, geese, cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs, besides growing cotton and other crops. They processed their own meat, including slaughtering and smoking it or freezing it when refrigeration became available. These practices she and Marvin continued with gardens, chickens, and cattle, as their children grew, until well into their eighties by returning to Bangs to butcher a hog with Art on a yearly basis, never leaving anything aside except for the squeal. Lorena was an accomplished seamstress as well and made clothing for herself and her children. Besides performing domestic work, including monitoring her premature siblings Art and Ollie in makeshift incubators made of shoeboxes placed next to a wood stove, Lorena helped her father dig a water well and herd livestock on horseback, which made her decide later in life never to ride again. While Marvin was in the seminary she did clerical work in a shoe factory and, after her sons became teenagers, worked as an attendant at a self-service gas station.
Lorena enjoyed citing a long list (for example, ‘It is not what you want, but what you get, that makes you fat.”) of aphorisms that she probably acquired from her father, quilting in the Ladies’ Aid, crocheting and knitting, doing crossword and Sudoku puzzles, bowling and fishing with Marvin, and cultivating African violets and other decorative plants and flowers.
Lorena’s sons never learned there was anything a woman could not do. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.crawfordbowerscopperascove.com for the Koch family.
- Funeral Service Monday, September 9, 2019