Mary Ann Koch Blackledge, 88, of North Platte passed away at Centennial Park Retirement Village on Jan. 1, 2022.

Mary Ann was born near Gandy to Russell and Mayden Morton on Oct. 2, 1933. After graduating from Gandy High School in 1951 she attended business school in Denver then moved to North Platte where she worked for Kunkel Auto Supply.

In November of 1954 Mary Ann married Skip Koch in North Platte. Since Skip was serving in the Army, they lived in Germany and that is where their boys, Rusty and Bob, were born. The family eventually returned to Nebraska and settled on the Koch family farm, south of Hershey.

Mary Ann worked for Neal Baxter at the Lincoln County Extension Agency for several years and for Hershey Schools until moving to North Platte in 1968.

She then took a job at the Telegraph and worked there for 28 years, earning Press Woman Awards both locally and nationally for her work.

On Sept. 17, 1994, Mary Ann married Keith Blackledge. They made their home in North Platte and were members of First Presbyterian Church.

Mary Ann was involved with many organizations and groups over the years including P.E.O. Chapter E.B. She participated in a book club, did strength training at the Senior Center, and was in the aquacize Water Lilies group at the Rec Center.

Survivors include her sons, Rusty (Lori) Koch of Seymour, Mo. and Bob (Karen) Koch of Hershey; stepsons, Gene Blackledge of Minneapolis, Minn., Mark (Kelly) Blackledge of St. Joseph, Mo., and Victor (Trish) Blackledge of Cologne, Minn.; grandchildren, Kip (Christina) Koch, Travis (Cara) Koch, Traci (Brad) Coonts and Morgan (Kris) Talbott; great-grandchildren, Caleb, Allison, David, Alexa, Devin, Ellie, Desiree, Robbie, Gibson and Brody; as well as her special nieces and nephews and other family.

Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband, Keith Blackledge; former husband, Skip Koch; parents, Russell and Mayden Morton; sisters, Betty Johnson and Mildred Morton; and brothers, Robert and Russell Morton.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6 at First Presbyterian Church with Pastor Emily McCreery officiating. Burial will follow in the North Platte Cemetery. Visitation will be prior to the service at the church. Odean Colonial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are to the Mid-Nebraska Community Foundation. Online condolences can be shared at

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