Leonora S. Koch, 81, homemaker

September 18, 2006

Leonora Stauffen Koch, a homemaker who was also a portraitist and competitive bridge player, died of an infection Sept. 11 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. She was 81 and had spent much of her life in North Baltimore.

Leonora Stauffen was raised in Roland Park in a home designed and built by her father, Frederick Stauffen, a civil and marine engineer. She attended Girls' Latin School and graduated in 1943 from Miss Miller's School, a private girls academy in the city.

She also took art classes at the Schuler School of Fine Arts and radio-acting lessons at the Bard Avon School where, her daughter said, she was courted with "beautiful poetry" by Don Messick, the late voice actor whose many television cartoon characters included Papa Smurf.

Mrs. Koch regaled her family with tales of ice skating as a girl at Carlin's Park and of her family's two "grand tours" of Europe in 1937 and 1939 - and how their huge black Buick was mistaken in Germany for Adolf Hitler's car.

While Mrs. Koch enjoyed portrait painting, her younger sister, Louise Stauffen Donohue, did it professionally - with subjects including Spiro T. Agnew and Tricia Nixon.

She was the wife of Frederick William Koch III, an engineer who designed Columbia's electrical supply system, whom she married in 1949. The Kochs moved to New Freedom, Pa., in 1989 after more than 40 years in North Baltimore, and had a second home on St. Simons Island, Ga.

After her husband's death in 2000, Mrs. Koch returned to the Baltimore area - first to a Towson condominium, and later to the Mays Chapel Ridge assisted-living facility in Timonium.

She was a member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Towson.

A private graveside service is planned.

She is survived by two sons, William Bradford Koch Sr. of the Lakehurst section of Baltimore County and Randall Charles Koch of Windsor; a daughter, Linda Koch Heddleson of Carlisle, Pa.; and seven grandchildren.

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