Cover photo for Dorothy L. Koch's Obituary
Dorothy L. Koch Profile Photo

Dorothy L. Koch

d. August 15, 2019

Dorothy Louise Dohrman Koch, Newton, Kansas, gained her eternal reward on Thursday, August 15, 2019. Dorothy was born February 23, 1941 in Delia, Kansas in her grandmother’s bedroom.  Though she was an only child, she never saw herself that way and, instead, liked to think she was blessed to be “everyone’s child.”  She attended Catholic schools her entire life and it would be upon that foundation that she would build her life.

She is survived by her husband, Vern; her four daughters, Rae Niles (Doug) of Sedgwick; Dana Knott (Terry) of Hesston; Joy Gehrer (Kory) of Zimmerdale; and Jana McKinney (Kyle Headrick) of Zimmerdale; as well as her beloved grandchildren Abby and Mark Walker; Megan and Aaron Austin; Andy and Donna Niles; Morgan and Nathan Simmons; Garrett and Laura McKinney; Chance and Tayler Gehrer; Madi  Gehrer; Wyatt McKinney; Ellie McKinney; and Kyle Rutschman; great-grandchildren Madden; Sam; Winston; Abel; Kade; Lin; Logan; Lance; twins, Coleman and Peyton; Elliott; and Baby Boy Gehrer; step brothers Gary Burgett, Terry Burgett, and Greg Burgett.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Raphael J. Dohrman and Helen L. Dohrman Burgett; and son-in-law, Lance McKinney.

Dorothy was a world-class pie maker, wedding cake baker, sugar Easter egg maker, and caterer extraodinaire feeding as many as 1,000 people in one meal.  She was a perpetual student and traveled the world.  She boasted being a skilled weighmaster, daily mass attendee, and famous radio personality, giving the daily hog markets for more than 25 years.  She and Vern have faithfully given one hour each week to the Perpetual Adoration since its inception in 1990.  She was a charter member of the Divine Mercy Prayer Group, church lector, Eucharistic minister, birdwatcher, avid reader, Harvey County 4-H supporter, Sunday school teacher, dominoes enthusiast, Girl Scout leader, card shark, hoarder of rosaries and other religious relics, trailblazer for medical advancements and scientific research, 22-year cancer survivor, and a call-it-like-she-sees-it-straight-shooter who, as surrogate mother to the masses, single-handedly taught more kids to drive hogs and stick-shift, all in the same summer. She opened her home to anyone and everyone, whether they were Labo Exchange students, kids needing summer jobs, or just someone down on their luck.  She had a gracious heart and loved people.






On December 31, 1961 Dorothy and Vern were married at Immaculate Conception Church in St. Mary’s, Kansas and began their life together where they were blessed with almost 58 years of marriage.  Her family was her greatest joy and a source of immense pride.  From an early age she taught her four daughters the value of hard work and to believe that they could do anything they wanted, if they simply put their mind to it. She and Vern owned and operated Newton Livestock, where they bought hogs for 40 years.  She was also a partner and clerk for Auction Specialists in Newton and thoroughly enjoyed the thousands of people she met along the way, considering each one a friend.  Dorothy was the woman behind the man, supporting Vern in all of his endeavors. She was her grandchildren’s biggest cheerleader and supporter attending every activity or event they were ever involved in.   She had a fiery spirit, a quick wit, and was a strong and brave soul showing immense courage, grace and conviction. She loved her family and she loved Jesus. Her devotion and faith were an inspiration to all who knew and loved her.  Those lucky enough to be loved by her in this life will miss her loyalty, laughter, glass-half-full attitude, fighting spirit, unending friendship, and unconditional love.  She will be deeply mourned, eternally loved but, most of all, she will be celebrated.

Family will be present for visitation Sunday, August 18, from 4:00 to 6:45 p.m., with recitation of the rosary immediately following at 7:00 Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Newton.  Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30, Monday, August 19, 2019 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Newton,with private burial to follow at Eastlawn Cemetery, Zimmerdale, Kansas.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church Food Pantry, or St. Jude’ Children’s Research Hospital, c/o Petersen’s Funeral Home, Newton, Kansas.


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