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Essay on Norma Jean Koch and Her Stories

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Norma Jean Koch, a woman of many words, and many stories. Norma Jean Koch, or at Presbyterian Manor, Jean Koch, has a history that has many twists and turns. It all begins with her grandfather, who was the Earl of Hathaway, in Germany.

He and other earls came to the United States, most likely as stowaways, and arrived at Ellis Island. From there he was supposed to meet a man to teach him a trade, but this man died on the long months journey to New York. When this happened he became a shoemaker. As soon as he got enough money, he married Anna Canterwin Valpol. Anna was a professional seamstress from France. As Jean recalls it, “All she needed to make a wonderful dress was a notepad, a pen, and a measuring tape. In fact I think she could measure once and remember them for as long as someone lived.” From there she had her birth mother, who learned to sew the same way Anna did. Her parents met in the summer of 1920 and married in 1921. Not a year later the eldest of her family, Lucy, was born. The story of Lucy ended with a tragic twist. After a heart attack and a stroke rendered her u...


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