Christian 08

Jo Anne Kotch

April 18, 2020


Jo Anne Kotch (Apgar), 83, died peacefully on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset in Somerville, NJ. Born in Hampton, NJ, to the late Bernard and Beatrice Apgar, she graduated from North Hunterdon High School in 1954. She lived in Bridgewater, NJ, for 49 years with her husband, John Kotch, who preceded her in death in 2013.


Generously serving others was something that Jo loved to do. She helped countless customers as a Sales Specialist at Stern’s Department Store in the Bridgewater Commons until her retirement in 2001. Jo was a Girl Scout Leader and PTA member in the Bridgewater school system for many years.  Her favorite place to serve was the church. Jo was an ordained deacon and a faithful member for over 40 years at The Reformed Church at Finderne where she championed programs to help the less fortunate such as “Fellowship of the Least Coin”, supported local food banks and enjoyed singing in the choir.  She cherished her church family.

Jo enjoyed cooking and baking and was well-known for her delicious creations and happily shared her recipes with anyone that asked. Although even with her recipe, our potato salad will never be the same. Her laugh was contagious, and you could feel the energy change when she walked into a room. 

Jo’s favorite singer was Frank Sinatra and she lived her life “My Way.”  She was a strong-willed woman who spoke her mind with love to encourage others, even if it was not what you wanted to hear.  She said she was “happy most of the time and content the rest of the time”. She enjoyed bingo, bowling, crocheting, going to the movies, vacationing on LBI and family get-togethers. She loved Disney World and traveling with her children.  Jo simply loved having fun and was never embarrassed, even in her silliest moments.

Jo was blessed with and proud of her large and loving family.  She leaves behind her sons Ronald (Cheryl), Jessee (Lisa), Troy (Cheryl) and daughters Jody and Kelly; 9 Grandchildren and 9 Great-Grandchildren. She was predeceased by her sister, Jean Spearance and brother, Richard “Spike” Apgar. She is survived by sisters Marybelle Hoffman and Judy Neustadt and many nieces and nephews that she loved deeply.

We look forward to everyone sharing their memories at a celebration of Jo’s life to be planned at a later date. 

Donations in memory of Jo may be sent to: The Reformed Church at Finderne, 581 Bridgewater Ave., Bridgewater, NJ, 08807 (for improving the church kitchen where Jo prepared and served many meals), or to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation at or by mail at 28 West 44th Street, Suite 609, New York, NY 10036.

The family would like to thank the amazing doctors, nurses and hospital staff at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset for their care and dedication.


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