Lois Marilyn Ostapczuk, 75, of Shokan, New York passed away peacefully at her home under
Hudson Valley Hospice care, on March 2, 2023. Born in Newark on February 10, 1948, Lois
grew up in Union, New Jersey with her three brothers, two sisters, and loving parents Robert and
Doris Koch. Lois was a 1966 graduate of Union High School and 1970 graduate of Kean
University with a BA in General Elementary Education. Later in life she earned her MS in
Elementary Education at SUNY New Paltz,
Lois married her husband, Edward, in May of 1970 after which they relocated to the Mid-
Hudson Valley. While he initially worked at IBM, Lois taught second grade in the Marlboro
School District. In 1973 they relocated to Shokan, residing there since. Lois soon gave birth to
the first of four children, putting her teaching career on hold while raising the family.
As their children grew through their teen years, Lois re-entered the teaching profession teaching
and directing the Overlook Preschool for a short period, and substitute teaching, before joining
the Onteora School District as a first-grade teacher. In 2008 Lois retired from teaching
rekindling friendships while becoming an active community volunteer and cultivating various
hobbies. She enjoyed quilting, hiking, volunteerism, and landscape painting. Her artwork was
often donated to various community fundraising events.
While teaching Lois received the NYS Jenkins Award becoming an honorary life-time PTA
member and was also nominated to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. As a volunteer, in
her younger years she was active in local PTA’s and with the Town of Olive’s Recreation
Committee, for which she was also recognized. In later years she was active with Vision 2000
and volunteered/coordinated the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen at Christ’s Lutheran Church, where
she also served on the Church Council and taught Sunday school.
Other than her family and helping others, Lois life’s passion was landscape painting. She was an
active member of the Olive Senior Art Group. While Lois was mostly self-taught, she also
received help from group members, as well as enjoyed several classes with local artists. Her
blog of artworks is: http://catskillwatersart.blogspot.com/.
Lois is survived by her husband of fifty-three years, Edward, and all four of their children:
Robert, Jennifer and Steve Pickard, Jason and Erin Habb, and Carrie and Michael Eubank. As a
family, they have ten grandchildren. She is also survived by her three brothers: Robert and
Nancy Koch, Grover and Pat Koch, Leonard and Carol Koch, and two sisters: Janet and Dr. Alex
Mazziotti, and Joan Eger; as well as two sisters-in-law’s: Kathy and Greg Cohen, and Karen and
Mark Portnoy. Plus, she has seventeen nieces and nephews, and several great nieces and
In November of 2021 Lois was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. Though the odds were
stacked against her from the beginning, she fought with all her efforts and grace. Her cheerful
and kind presence will be greatly missed, while all who knew Lois are grateful for our time with
her. The family is forever beholden to the caring and dedicated personnel at Memorial Sloan
Kettering and Hudson Valley Hospice. Christ’s Lutheran Church will host visitation hours on
March 31 st from 3 to 6 PM, followed by a 10 AM funeral service on April 1 st at St. John’s the
Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, both located in Woodstock, NY. Memorial contributions may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering (http://www.mskcc.org/) or Christ’s Lutheran
Church, 26 Mill Hill Rd., Woodstock, NY 12481.