Theresa Jeanne Thompson Koch, 95, of Great Barrington passed away on February 11, 2017 at Fairview Commons Nursing Home. Theresa was born on September 11, 1921 in Manhattan, Kansas.
Her father worked for Purina Feeds, then the Soil Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and she, her younger brother David, and her parents traveled through and lived in most of the states between Kansas and California where they settled in 1929. Theresa and her family lived in various towns in California and she eventually enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley. She left college to marry Bill Thompson, a young engineer she had met in 1942 while working in an airplane factory. They had two children, Susan and Peter, and they lived in the San Diego area.
In her middle years, Theresa resumed her college education and completed a BA and obtained her teaching certificate. She then taught 7th-9th graders English and Social Studies. She also worked at San Diego State College and the University of California at San Diego in La Jolla.
Later, Theresa married Clay Koch with whom she shared 27 years in San Diego and Denver, Colo. In their retirement years, they enjoyed slowly traveling through Europe and also began oil painting together, which gave her great pleasure and satisfaction.
She moved to the Berkshires after Clay died, to live near her daughter. Theresa’s advice to all and secret to happiness was: Simplify. She is survived by her son, Peter Thompson of La Ceiba, Honduras, and her daughter Susan Thompson Barrett of Great Barrington. In lieu of services or flowers, she requested that friends play Dixieland Jazz in her memory.