Sister M. Sara Koch, OP, dies; served 36 years at St. Malachy Parish/School, Rantoul

Sister M. Sara Koch, OP

SPRINGFIELD — A private Mass of Resurrection will be offered on Oct. 20 at Sacred Heart Convent here for Sister M. Sara Koch, OP, who served for 36 of her 59 years of religious profession at St. Malachy Parish in Rantoul, including two different times as school principal.

Sister Sara died suddenly on Oct. 18, 2020, in Urbana. She was 79.

Private burial was planned for Oct. 21 at Calvary Cemetery, also in Springfield. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Convent at a later date.

Born in Mount Sterling on Nov. 28, 1940, and given the name Marcia Sue, Sister Sara was the daughter of Raymond and Marie (Redmond) Koch. She joined the Dominican Sisters of Springfield in 1959 and professed her vows on Jan. 4, 1961, at Sacred Heart Convent.

She taught the primary grades in Catholic schools in Springfield, Hampshire and Quincy, and junior high in Decatur, Crystal Lake and Jacksonville. But the majority of her religious life was served at St. Malachy in Rantoul. In addition to her years as school principal, she also served as director of religious education for youth and adults, spiritual life coordinator, and prayer companion.

Preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Donald Koch, Robert Koch, and Maurice Koch; and her sisters, Patricia Koch and Mary Ellen Ferrill, Sister Sara is survived by her siblings, Charles Koch of Mount Sterling, Rosalie (Jim) Shank of Decatur, and Joan Zurita of Rolling Meadows; 23 nieces and nephews; and many cousins. Among them is Sister Marcelline Koch, also a Dominican Sister of Springfield.

Memorials may be made to the Dominican Sisters Retirement Fund, 1237 W. Monroe St., Springfield, IL 62704.

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