Jetta Lavo Schumacher Koch Westerholm

March 2, 1928December 27, 2020

Jetta Lavo Schumacher Koch Westerholm was born March 2, 1928 in Houston, Texas, the only child of Margaret (Hester) and John William Schumacher, Jr. As a young child, she began her lifelong love of dancing, drawing and painting. She graduated from Lamar High School in Houston in 1945. In 1949, she graduated from Rice University with a degree in art and a minor in architecture. In addition, Jetta did post graduate work at Columbia University in New York, The University of Houston, Houston Baptist University, and Stephen F. Austin State University. Jetta went on to teach school off and on in Houston, Lufkin, and on the island of Guam during the Korean War. Married to John Clinton (J.C.) Koch MD for 38 years, Jetta became very active in Medical Auxiliary volunteer work at both the local and state levels, serving in various leadership roles. When she and J.C. were local Medical Auxiliary presidents in 1962, they led a local campaign to distribute polio vaccines to Lufkin residents. Jetta also held various positions in the Lufkin Junior League (which she joined in 1956) and in the First United Methodist Church of Lufkin. In her golden years, she enjoyed attending Christ Congregational Church. Having three children, Jetta was always interested in youth organizations where she served in many roles from scout leader to PTA president. During her children’s teenage years, Jetta could be found driving their ski boat on Sam Rayburn Lake. Jetta’s civic work included volunteering at Friends of Kurth Memorial Library, the Forestry Museum, the Mosaic Center, Woodland Heights Medical Center and ushering at the Temple Theatre. She served on the board of the Samaritan Counseling Center, belonged to the Angelina County Historical Commission, the Danish Preservation Society, the Museum of East Texas, the Historical and Literary Club of Lufkin, and the Anthony Smith Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. After J.C. died, Jetta married Harvey Westerholm, former Lufkin City Manager, in 1993. They enjoyed church and civic work and traveled many places. Jetta and Harvey also belonged to several ballroom dance clubs and bridge groups. A unique bond that Jetta Lavo had was maintaining an active birthday club with her 6th grade Houston friends. They got together a few times every year, even in their 90’s. Jetta was preceded in death by her parents, spouse, J.C. Koch MD in 1989, spouse, Harvey Westerholm in 2002, great-granddaughter Shiloh Grace Conway, and great-granddaughter Claire Fae Caroline Conway. Although Jetta would have preferred her funeral to be a huge party with all of her family, friends, and acquaintances in attendance, Covid is preventing that from happening. Instead, Survivors include her four children: John C. Koch, Jr. and wife Laura; Jetta Ann McGinniss & husband Rick; Jennifer Conway and husband Stephen; Shannon Westerholm Shadday and husband Kyle. Her nine grandchildren are: David Koch and wife Jacque; Dr. Joseph Koch and wife Dr. Rebekah; Shelley Riehl and husband Chance; Marilyn Sperr and husband Tim; Katie McGinniss; Janelle Strother and husband Ben; Joshua Conway and wife Erica; Dr. Jordan Conway and wife Laci, and Brooke Shadday: She was also blessed with nineteen living great-grandchildren: Kimberly, Claire, John William, and Kate Koch; Lydia Lavo, Henry and Wagner Koch; Jace, Truitt and Bennett Riehl; Adrienne, Bria, Corbin and Derrick Sperr; Eli and Jetta Strother; Caleb Conway; and Clifton and Calvin Conway. there will be a small private graveside family gathering led by Randall Green of Lufkin on Saturday, January 9. Jetta will be laid to rest in The Garden of Memories Memorial Park in Lufkin, Tx. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to any church or charity of your choice or Hospice in the Pines, 1504 West Frank Ave, Lufkin, Texas 75904 Thank you to all who have expressed sympathy. Condolences may be offered at Services have been placed in the trust of Gipson Funeral Home.


  • Graveside Service

    Saturday, January 9, 2021


Jetta Lavo Schumacher Koch Westerholm

have a memory or condolence to add?

William Royle

January 9, 2021

Jetta will be missed. May God's peace surround all of you at this time.
Bill Royle