March 2, 1947 – July 16, 2021
Penelope “Penny” Lee Koch was born in Lansing, Michigan to Gerald and Betty Stockel on March 2, 1947. She passed away with her family at her bedside on Friday, July 16, 2021.
Penny will fondly and forever be remembered as a great force of love and care. She had a love and care inside her that she poured into everyone who was fortunate enough to know her. It wasn’t unlike her to stop and admire children and dogs while she was out and about. She enjoyed going to Preuss Pets store so she could see all the animals and the large parrot that lives there. The countless number of people whose hearts were touched one way or another by Penny is very apparent just by the amount of cards and acknowledgements that she has collected over the course of her life.
Penny is best described as being eccentric and flamboyant. She was a classy woman who made a statement with her appearance everywhere she went. She loved to dance, listen to oldies music, and her favorite instrument was drums. One of her proudest moments was seeing her nephew play the drums in a band, bringing tears to her eyes. Penny also enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, reading books, and watching old sitcoms like, “Golden Girls” and “Everybody Loves Raymond."
Penny was with the State of Michigan for 25 years before her retirement, working in the Liquor Control Commission and the Natural Resources Department. She was a volunteer at McLaren Hospital for over 10 years before leaving at the age of 72. In 2019, Penny was honored as the Volunteer of the Year as well as being awarded the Katie Brown Smile Award for her positive spirit.
Anyone who knew Penny would probably agree that she lived her life according to her favorite saying, found in the song by Frank Sinatra and others, "I Did It My Way."
Penny is survived by her brother, James Stockel (Candy), nephews Brent Stockel (Hillary) and Scott Stockel, and niece Heather Gillikin (Mike). She is also survived by five great-nephews and nieces, special friends Carl and Joan Zayatz, and her two Siamese cats, referred to as “her girls,” Maddie and Allie. Penny is preceded in death by her husband of 12 years, Jeffrey Koch, and her parents.
A graveside service will be held for Penny on Friday, July 23, 2021 at 10:00AM at Mt. Hope Cemetery, 1800 E Mt. Hope Ave. Lansing, MI 48910.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Mother Teresa House for the Care of the Terminally Ill, who gave such great care and compassion to Penny in her last days.
Memories, condolences, and expressions to the family may be found below.
Friday, July 23, 2021
July 21, 2021
Penny was a fellow volunteer with me doing Infant Hearing Screening at McLaren for several years. She was enthusiastic and positive in all that she did and was a true servant of others.
She also was a volunteer in Patient Services which meant she transported patients within the hospital. I am sure her smile and cheerful demeanor made many people feel a lot better!
Penny never missed an opportunity to stop and chat. She was a wonderful example of a kind spirit. Rest in Heaven, Penny!
July 20, 2021
I had the privilege of knowing Penny for over 10 years when she volunteered at McLaren Greater Lansing. It was not unusual for Penny to volunteer 5-6 days a week; she loved her volunteer role and did it well! She had a huge heart with a smile to match, and she will be greatly missed. My condolences to Penny’s family.