Lois Ostapczuk

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 nephews.

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 31st with a funeral service on April 1st, location TBD.  Memorial contributions may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering (http://www.mskcc.org/) or Christ’s Lutheran Church, 26 Mill Hill Rd., Woodstock, NY 12498.

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