Glenville teen remembered as good, all-around student

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, July 12, 2011

GLENVILLE — A loving teenager who was strong in her faith.

That’s how friends and family of the late Kayla Koch, 17, of rural Glenville, said they will remember the young woman who died Sunday after a fatal rollover about a mile away from her home.

Kayla Koch

“Kayla’s smile and her faith have been such a blessing to our small community, and we know that she is now resting in God’s arms,” said the Rev. Ronald Myers of Deer Creek Valley Lutheran Church in rural Glenville, where Koch attended. “We miss her and wish that she was still here with us.”

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Myers described Koch as a normal teenager who loved her family and friends. She attended Glenville-Emmons High School.

He said she was active in church, 4-H and school activities.

“She lived life to the fullest and everyone enjoyed having her around,” he added. “She was respected by her classmates and her community was very proud of her.”

From July 22-24, Koch was scheduled to compete in the Miss Teen of America scholarship and recognition program in St. Cloud.

For that competition, she had written about her hobbies and interests, which included spending time with family and friends, playing volleyball, participating in FFA, playing the piano and being a part of Sunday School and Bible school at her church.

Myers said prior to her death, Koch had been excited to teach vacation Bible School at the church, which was planned for this week. The program is continuing on in her memory.

‘A good all-around student’

Glenville-Emmons High School Principal Jeff Tietje described Koch as a “good all-around student,” who performed well in academics and was involved in extracurricular activities as well.

“She had a lot of friends who are missing her right now,” Tietje said. “Being a small school, we’re a very close-knit school.”

Koch’s classmates gathered at Glenville High School on Monday to write their personal memories of her on stars to share with each other. They also wrote of her attributes on poster board for her family.

Classmate and friend Jannaca Haines said students will also be planting a tree near the school sign and painting Koch’s locker with No. 7, her volleyball number for the coming school year. They will be collecting pictures for a poster to display at the school for their senior year.

“She was an amazing girl,” said Chad Maier, Koch’s boyfriend.

Her grandmothers, Connie Koch and Arletta Bungum, said Koch loved singing children’s songs, loved kittens and loved all animals.

She loved music and playing the piano for her enjoyment. Children loved her, and she loved them.

Family members also talked about Koch’s love for God and her family and what they described as an unmistakable faith.

Koch’s funeral arrangements are pending at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home in Albert Lea.