MADISON - Phyllis Rose (Voegeli) Koch, 93, of Madison, WI, passed away peacefully Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, at St. Mary's Hospital, Madison, after a sudden illness.
She was born Dec. 9, 1925, in Monroe, WI to Emil and Christie (Lemon) Voegeli, younger sister to Paul and Marian. Phyllis spent a happy childhood in Monticello, WI. After graduating from Monticello High School as one of 15 students in her Senior class, she earned a degree from the La Crosse State Teachers College and was hired as a physical education teacher in the Green Bay public schools.
She married the love of her life, W. Robert "Bob" Koch on Nov. 18, 1950, in Madison where they made their home together for 64 years and raised three children, William, James, and Ellen. She was a devoted wife to Bob, supporting his career and spending wonderful times with their mutual friends. Travel was also something Phyllis and Bob enjoyed together. Family life and loving devotion to her children was a fundamental component of her life, which extended to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren later in life.
Phyllis was fully engaged in life in Madison, a city she loved. Her community involvement included, among other things, years of volunteer work at St. Mary's Hospital and 20 years as an Angel at Attic Angel Association through which she formed enduring friendships while volunteering her skills.
She was a true sports enthusiast, as both participant and fan. She enjoyed her golf league at Blackhawk Country Club where she was a long-time member, and was an accomplished bowler, playing on leagues throughout her life. As a sports fan, she looked forward to the start of Badger football and basketball every year and watched with a keen eye and knowledge of the game.
Phyllis was admired for her quick mind and as a great conversationalist. She had the ability to converse with intelligence, relevance, and humor with family, friends and acquaintances from all generations. She kept mentally sharp playing bridge weekly, reading books on a daily basis, knitting, and by completing 1,000-piece puzzles regularly, among other hobbies.
Phyllis could be counted on to be on time and looking her best and brought a dynamic presence that will be greatly missed.
She is survived by her children, Bill, Jim (Rebecca Hunt), and Ellen (John) Franzini; grandchildren Emily (Steven Hamm) Koch, Brandon (Claire) Koch, and Ella Koch, Susan Franzini, and Paul (Sarah) Franzini; and three great-grandchildren, Madeline Hamm, Miles Koch and Evie Koch. Phyllis is further survived by nephews and nieces.
Phyllis was preceded in death by her loving husband Bob, and her dear grandson Michael Franzini.
A funeral service will be held at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, at 11 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. Fr. Bart Timmerman will be presiding. A luncheon will be served immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Attic Angel Association, 8301 Old Sauk Rd., Middleton, WI 53562 or SSM Health St. Mary's Foundation - Madison, 700 S. Park St., Madison, WI 53715.
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Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
"Jim, we are so sorry to hear of Phyllis?s passing. Phyllis was a wonderful lady who made each of us feel that we were her special friend. We enjoyed her wit, her smiles and her stories of her family. We are unable to attend the services on Thursday due to medical appointments. You are in our thoughts and prayers. "
"Jim and family. I am truly sorry for your loss! I'm going to be unable to attend services and wanted you to know my thoughts and prayers are with you.
"I have very fond memories of Phyllis as she was my Mom's best friend for so many years. They shared golf, volunteering at St Marys, trips, and raising young families on Togstad Glen. I am hoping Phyllis and Shirley are sharing a glass of wine in heaven."
"It is unusual to be deeply shocked by the passing of an almost-94 year old woman. But Phyllis?s mind, body and spirit belied her age.
Her sharp mind kept absorbed in the lives EACH member of her family. She contradicted the self-focus that is common with aging by remaining genuinely interested in every conversation. What a good listener! She remembered details about MY family that may have slipped my own mind.
With her well-coordinated outfits, she always looked sharp as she often drove herself to social engagements, Badger basketball games, etc.
And her spirit?. I will always remember her dry wit, her refreshingly honest perspective, her sound advice.
I hope that the shock of her passing is replaced by gratitude that she was still living life to the fullest at almost-94! Each member of her family and all of us who knew her can keep the lessons and perspectives that we learned from Phyllis for the rest of our lives.
I will miss you, wise friend.