Fern was born in Hazen, ND on October 15, 1929; she died peacefully in the comfort of her home on May 10, 2019 at the age of 89. Fern was the youngest child born to Carl and Theresa Roessler. Preceding her in death were her husband Norman John Koch (1961), her parents, and siblings Lester and Harold (“Rusty”) Roessler, and Viola Balke.
Fern grew up in Orchards, WA graduating from Vancouver High School and subsequently obtained her RN degree at St Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing. While working as a nurse she met Norman in 1953, they were married in 1954. Fern and Norman had five children, David, Lore, Tim, Kas and Sherry. They moved to Bismark/ Mandan, ND following the birth of their first child and remained there five years, relocating to Oregon after Norman’s death in 1961. Fern is survived by her five children, grandchildren (Keeley, Adam, Ryan, Derek, Shelby, Abbey, Jessica and Trevor), and great-grandchildren (Emma, Evan, Westley, Griffin and Shiloh), in addition to brothers and sisters in-laws and nephews/ nieces too numerous to mention.
She raised her children in East Multnomah County (Centennial School District) while working as a surgical nurse at Woodland Park Hospital. Fern was part of multiple family constellations consisting of her children and their families, the circle of friends in the neighborhood where her children grew up, her work family at Woodland Park, and then the final chapter of her life with the community of friends in retirement at Arch Cape. She realized a lifelong dream when her family built the beach home she moved into following her retirement in 1995. Fern spent 20+ years living at the coast and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of her time there.
Fern was an avid reader and instilled this interest in her children and grandchildren; she maintained an extensive library. She had two Norwegian Elkhounds - Kobuk and Kaley - whose company she enjoyed immensely. In retirement, she volunteered at the Cannon Beach library, walked the beach in Arch Cape, loved to play Scrabble and various card games, read every day, and enjoyed visits with family and friends at her coastal retreat.
She will be remembered as a strong, determined and spunky woman who gave willingly of herself, and for her love of family, friends, the written word, dogs, coffee, German beer and schnapps, and of course the Oregon Coast.
Her body was cremated and ashes are being retained by family.