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Frances Ann (Bonanno) Koch

March 21, 1929 ~ March 15, 2018 (age 88)

Frances Ann (Bonanno) Koch of Falmouth, Maine, passed away peacefully at her home in Falmouth, on March 15, 2018. 

She was born March 21, 1929, to Santo and Catherine Bonanno of Hingham and later Hull, Massachusetts, the first of four children.  The first in her family as well to attend college, she graduated from Radcliffe College in 1950 with an AB cum laude in Romance Languages and Literatures and later earned an MAT at the University of Pittsburgh.  Shortly after her marriage in 1952, she and her husband Philip spent a Fulbright year in Italy, after which they returned first to Cambridge, Massachusetts before moving on to the Philadelphia area.   Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was the next stop, where they raised their two sons.  Life in Pittsburgh was interrupted three times, nevertheless, by separate years in France, where Frances added French to her Romance languages. 

Her professional life was dedicated to elementary and secondary school education.  She began teaching at the Ellis School of Pittsburgh in 1964, where she was also an administrator during her nearly 30-year career: she served as Head of Lower School (1971-1972), the Director of Upper School (1973-91), and in her final year served as Interim Head of School (1991-92).  On retirement in 1992, and in recognition of her service, the Ellis School established a scholarship in her name for a talented incoming Middle School student in financial need.

Frances retired to Maine with Philip in 1995, where she was able to dedicate her time and energy to what then mattered most to her: enjoying extended family and friends; cooking as an occasion for sociability; traveling throughout the world; supporting and promoting worthy educational, artistic, social, and political causes.  Frances lived her life with passion, commitment, and care for the well-being of others.

Frances is survived by her husband, Philip Koch, of Falmouth, ME, by her sister, Rosemary Bonanno (North Quincy, MA), by her two sons, Philip S. Koch (Conifer, CO) and Erec R. Koch (New York, NY), by her two daughters-in-law, Faith Curtin Koch and Joaniko Kohchi, and by four grandchildren, Larissa Koch Ursprung as well as Nicole, Andrei, and Antonia Koch.

There will be a memorial gathering in her honor at OceanView Retirement Community’s Blueberry Common Room (Falmouth, ME) on Thursday April 5, 2018 at 3:30 PM.  Interment will take place at Hingham Centre Cemetery (Hingham, MA) on Saturday July 28, 2018 at 2:00 PM.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made in her honor to the Frances A. Koch Middle School Scholarship at the Ellis School, 6425 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206.

For additional information and online condolences, please visit www.downingchapel.com

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