My little sister, Colleen Marie Koch died on March 25 at the age of 52 in Royal Columbian Hospital where she was being treated for Calciphylaxis since October 2020. Colleen had been waiting for a kidney donor since 2016. Colleen is predeceased by her parents Peggy (d. 2006) and David Koch (d. 2013), and is survived by me, Dana Koch (Reg Maidment).
Coll was born in Trail, BC in 1969 and we relocated to Kamloops BC before she was a year old. She attended North Kamloops Elementary, MacArthur Park, and graduated in 1987 from Norkam. Colleen earned her degree in psychology/criminology from Simon Fraser University in 1992.
Her career as a public servant started as a welfare case worker before she moved to the Public Guardian and Trustee where she worked for more than 20 years. As a manager for the PGT, Colleen was much loved and respected for her leadership, fairness, and the fun she brought to her workplace.
Could our girl laugh?!? She could only get part way through a joke before making herself laugh to tears. Colleen had a huge, boisterous personality that was truly magnetic and magical. She was a joy to be around and her infectious laugh could not be resisted. She was quick to let you know she’d been wronged, and even faster to forgive. Coll knew just how to push your buttons but never too far. Her friends are too numerous to count and all are as devoted to her as she was to each of them. We were all bees swarming around our queen.
Colleen’s outlook was always sunny and positive. This was challenged greatly over the last 5 years as she struggled with kidney disease and failing health. Her determination to come through each setback was a marvel to family, friends, and her healthcare team. Even when faced with her final crisis, she steadfastly declared she would beat the odds, recover, and go back to the life she loved. Her final gift to us was a glorious week where she spoke at length to me and friends — sharing dreams, stories, and love.
Although Coll lived in the Lower Mainland, Kamloops was always home. She always longed to return home and spent most of her vacations there with family and friends.
She was a trusted confident, provider of wisdom, cherished friend, and precious sister.
Because Colleen was loved by so many, we will be waiting until we can all meet to joyfully remember her greatness.
Love you, Babes. Oh, my heart, I miss you so.
I will always cherish the many years of memories and friendship shared with colleen growing up as neighbours and I feel so blessed to have had such fun childhood memories. Dana I hope that you find comfort in the days ahead through all the wonderful memories you shared together. Colleen was a beautiful soul taken too soon. Thinking of you through this difficult time.
Dana...What a beautiful tribute to a well loved sister. Colleen was obviously treasured, admired,and respected by her many friends and co-workers. She looked so much like Peggy, your wonderful Mom. I am sure your Mom and Dad have thrown open their arms and are embracing Colleen right now. Sending you love from the Cook Family in Kamloops.
How beautifully written. I never had the privilege to meet Colleen but I know what she meant to my friend (her sister Dana) and the love they shared. A world touched by a beautiful soul is forever changed for the better. May the sound of her laughter ring on through the ages.
My sincere condolences to you Dana. Please take good care in the coming weeks. Sincerely, Dino and family
Dana I am so very sorry for your loss. She sounded like an amazing person, like her sister. Please take care of yourself and again I am very sorry for your loss
My sincere condolences Dana. May all the love, laughter and memories that you shared with your sister carry you through this difficult time.
Dana, I was so sorry to read that your sister had passed away. Although I only met her once, I know that you enjoyed each other's company so much and will miss her terribly. Thinking of you.
I had the pleasure of working with Colleen for several years before I retired and, afterwards, meeting with her for much loved Mexican food and margaritas at Hectors in Kelowna. Colleen was a straight shooter. She always challenged opinions to ensure they were valid and made others better workers for it. I never met you Dana but your support and love of your sister is admirable. After so many health challenges, Colleen is finally at peace. Alan Lindsay, Kelowna
It is hard to think that our dear friend is gone. Colleen brought joy and laughter to office, and was always there to just sit and have a chat with. We had fun talks about being the little sister in the family and what we could get away with. She was a great listener and knew when you were not just “fine”. Her smile and bright eyes will be missed by all. The only comfort is knowing that the pain is gone and she is at peace. Dana, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. Colleen will always be in our hearts.
There is a space in my prayers now 'cause Colleen was always a "feature". Never a bystander, she was always fully engaged when in your presence. Dana just know that Colleen now shares in the Joy of the Easter Promise.
Colleen was an amazing person to be around. There was always so much laughter and joy when Colleen was around and I've never felt more warmth and support at any other workplace. Colleen always had your back. She will be truly missed by so many.
I really enjoyed Colleen and am so sorry to hear of her struggles and her passing.
It is hard to think that our dear friend is gone. Colleen brought joy and laughter to office, and was always there to just sit and have a chat with. We had fun talks about being the little sister in the family and what we could get away with
Dana I am so sorry to hear about your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this time. I always think back to all times that everyone was together, memories to cherish.
❤️ Dana, my heart aches for you, Reg and Colleen’s many friends. Colleen was a true warrior, devouring her health challenges with grace, humour, determination and your unending support and devotion. Your sisterly love was a joy to witness and I hope and pray for the same for my girls. Sending you love and light Dana and hoping the love, laughter and memories you and Colleen shared brings you peace.
I had the very good fortune of working with Colleen at the PGT office, and that turned into a friendship which I cherish. I am truly honoured and blessed that Colleen was my friend. She taught me what it meant to be a good and generous friend. I am still learning. She taught me that it is okay to wear your heart on your sleeve: to be angry, to forgive, to cry, and mostly to laugh and love. She left us too soon. I so miss her. I miss her laugh, her kindness and caring. I will miss our annual Christmas crafting session. Oh, how we laughed till we cried. I was all thumbs,but we turned out some amazing decorations with her help and guidance. I will treasure them, as I will treasure her friendship always. Dana, you were the best sister. You know she loved you dearly. My thoughts are with you. Linda Irwin
Colleen was both a co-worker and a friend. She is remember for how she cared for all those all around her. I will always cherish the friendship we had and the talks we had. Dana my thoughts are with you during this time. Colleen will be greatly missed but our lives are better with her having been part of it.
I have never had a sister’s love. I only wish that all sisters could have the love that you two had. Again, thank you for sharing Colleen’s story and for such a beautiful tribute.
CKO was a joy to know and an easy person to love. She rewarded us all with her persona and it is impossible for me to explain adequately just how much she made the workplace a fair and rewarding place to be. Some where over the rainbow where sky’s are blue.....dreams really do come true! Till we meet again Colleen......
That was beautifully written Dana. I know your parents would be so proud of both you girls. My heart hurts...sending comfort and love your way girl xoxo
I only had the pleasure of meeting Colleen twice, but I marvelled at the closeness and bond between her and her sister Dana. This is the bond all parents dream their children will share. All of our love to Dana, Reg, and all who loved Colleen.
Hard to leave this message as Colleen was more than just a neighbor to our family. She was like a sister to our boys, a neighborhood daughter, a true friend and loved conversationalist. She was a join and always brought a smile to the backyard. Yes her suffering has finally come to a close but selfishly she is missed greatly and an opportunity to see her, speak with her, see her smile once more would truly be a joy. We will miss our Colleen. Please say hi to Peggy and Dave and till we meet again. Love the entire Caputo Family.
Colleen, my friend who bloomed like the Lotus Flower, no matter the struggles and pain life thrust upon her. Beautiful person with a beautiful soul, oh I miss her so. I will cherish the memories and the laughter we once shared , always wishing she were here. Dana My thoughts are with you, I wish we could rewrite the ending.
A beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul, Dana. I'm so sad for you that Colleen's journey on this earth is over when you may have much life to live without her. The depth of your grief will serve as evidence of big love. I didn't know Colleen, but I believe that this world was better because she was in it. ❤