University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Remembering Mildred Koth

Mildred Koth, 98, died Tuesday, Aug. 31, at Valley Memorial Homes Eldercare Center in Grand Forks.

Mildred Fern (Lewis) Koth was born Dec. 3, 1911, on a farm near Essex, Iowa, to Edna and Horace Lewis. When she was 7, her parents sold this farm and elevator business to purchase a farm near Kennedy, Minn., where her father also managed the Farmer's Potato Warehouse and Grocery Store.

During her school years, Mildred successfully managed to keep track of her younger brother, Melvin. A month after her 1929 high school graduation, Mildred's father died as a result of a haying accident. The family soon decided to sell the farm to enable Mildred and Melvin to continue their education.

After attending Aaker's Business School in Grand Forks, Mildred became secretary for a large business firm in Kennedy, Minn. A few years later she and her mother moved to Grand Forks where Mildred found a position as secretary of the dean's office in the UND School of Engineering and Mines, where she worked for 30 years under four deans and two acting deans.

It was at UND that Mildred met Arthur Koth, a professor of engineering. They were married June 7, 1952, in Grand Forks. The house they purchased bordered University Park.  They also enjoyed many UND hockey games.

Mildred and Art were both active in the Presbyterian Church. Mildred taught Sunday School, was president of the Presbyterian Business Girls' Club, was elected to the session in 1971, completed two years as a Church Women United Listener, was Coordinator of Fellowship Circles in UPW, served as a member of the Women's Guild, as well as being an Elder and Deacon.

Mildred retired from UND on May 10, 1977, but continued to work part time at the university. She cared for her mother, tended her gardens, arranged flowers, enjoyed canning and baking and remained an avid antique collector. She also traveled, including a UND Alumni Association tour through Germany.

Grateful for having shared her life are her brother Melvin Lewis, nephew John Lewis and niece Mary Ellen Russell (Chuck). Great nephews are Charles and Lewis Russell. Great niece is Erin (Russell) Bass (Dion). Great, great nieces are Kylee and Kolbie Bass. She is preceded in death by her husband, Arthur Koth, and her parents.

Funeral services are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, in First Presbyterian Church, 5555 S. Washington St., Grand Forks with visitation one hour prior to the service in the church. Interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery, Grand Forks.

-- Courtesy of the Grand Forks Herald

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