After winning many previous battles with cancer, Mary Louise Koch lost her war on July 22. She was 74.

With infectious good humor, colorful language, and a true love of life she fought for every extra year she could have with her family, especially her beloved grandsons Liam, Theo and Monty.

Born in Summit, N.J. to Rudolph Koch and Lynn O’Neill, Mary Lou traveled an eclectic, challenging, and yet fulfilling life. An accomplished seamstress and upholsterer made her a much sought-after artisan both on and off the Island. Her love of tennis and Roger Federer in particular held her in good stead during her recurring battles with cancer. With Roger, no point was ever ceded and no match lost without a maximum display of moxie, skill, determination and grace. The same could certainly be said about Mary Lou. Roger would have approved.

Aside from her grandchildren, Liam, Theodore and Montgomery Gude, she leaves behind her daughter Heather VonHerbruck, her son Henry Hansen, and her son in law Geordie Gude. They would like to deeply thank her many friends on and off Island who visited Mary Lou or sent love from afar. They are also endlessly grateful for the care and compassion that Mary Lou’s hospice, visiting nurses and caregivers displayed throughout. Without them they would have been lost.

Her family wishes her friends a beautiful rest of summer and ask them to remember her in the best of times, living life to its fullest and always giving in the most positive ways anyone could, even in her last hours.

A memorial service will be scheduled and announced in the coming months.

A account has been created to help with funeral costs; for more information email to An online guestbook is available at