Gretchen Fouche Kuch
Encircled throughout the day with the love of friends and family, Gretchen slipped peacefully on to heaven on Sept. 22, 2020. If you knew Gretchen, then you know that heaven will never be the same!
Born to Chet and “Billie” Fouche on Feb. 2, 1938, in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Gretchen moved with her family to Spokane, Wash., in 1948. She attended Wilson Grade School and Lewis and Clark High School, Class of 1956, then continued her studies at Yakima Valley Junior College, Western Washington University and Eastern Washington University.
Gretchen loved her parents dearly, gaining a love of civic involvement from her mom as they attended meetings of Daughters of the Nile, College Women, Republican Women and Goodwill. She developed her love of athletics from her dad as they enjoyed shooting skeet, playing golf and hunting together.
The first part of Gretchen’s business/professional career took her to the Tri-Cities area, where she managed medical and dental clinics, including giving practice management seminars. She served as president of four dental societies as well as American Business Women International, where she was named “Woman of the Year.” She was also vice president of the Tri- Cities Chamber of Commerce.
Before long Spokane called her home, and she accepted a job there as manager of the Cheney Medical Center and later worked for the Associated Builders & Contractors. She jumped into community activities in Spokane with both feet, active in the Spokane Club, Rotary 21, Southeast Lions Club, Ponderosa Republican Club, Spokane College Women’s Association, Daughters of the Nile, Credit Women International, Hangman Valley Ladies Golf Club and Hamblen Park Presbyterian Church.
Athletic pursuits were always a big part of Gretchen’s life and her abilities were numerous. She was a life member of the Spokane and Cheney Gun Clubs, winning junior and ladies skeet shooting matches throughout the Northwest. She was a league champion in golf, bowling and curling. After being introduced to skiing at age 40, you couldn’t get her off the slopes. She skied in Washington, Idaho, California, New Mexico and Canada. Also an avid golfer, high on her list of memories was playing all the golf courses at Doral Golf Club, Fla.
Gretchen was an icon in area Republican politics. She was active in Spokane Republican Women, serving two terms as president. She was awarded the Most Volunteer Hours Award by the Washington Federation Republican Women, earned the Eileen Yeager Memorial Award as Outstanding Spokane Republican, and was named the Outstanding Republican of the Year by the Spokane Area Young Republicans.
Finding her true calling, Gretchen served tirelessly to help elect Republican candidates to office, chairing and co-chairing fundraiser and steering committees for local, state and national candidates. She was elected PCO, District Leader, Spokane State Committee Woman, and was on the executive board of Washington Federation of Republican Women, serving as Chairman of the Winners Circle.
Elected Washington State National Committee Woman in 1994, Gretchen served two terms, ending in 2000. She served as executive director of the Spokane Republican Party for three county chairmen, including George Nethercutt. After Nethercutt was elected to Congress she worked in his district office as field director.
Famous for entertaining us with her quick-wit and hilarious stories, Gretchen loved people and had a genuine interest in seeing her friends and family succeed. Her positivity was infectious, as were her incredible smile and grand laugh. It was fitting she was a Republican because she had the memory of an elephant, and an uncanny ability to remember names of constituents and colleagues.
Gretchen was devoted to her grandchildren and adored her great-grandchildren. Her later years were spent traveling with them to Paris, London, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the Mexican Riviera. She loved to read and play bridge and would always be found with a west highland terrier by her side.
Gretchen was welcomed into heaven by her parents, Chet and Billie Fouche, and daughter, Kathi Hoon; along with a number of close friends – let the party begin!
Gretchen is survived by son, Kurt Myron; granddaughter, Allison Knoll (Nick); grandson, Tyler Cole (Jenny); granddaughter, Lindsay Suto (Laszlo); sister, Jill Wheeler (Mick); great-grandsons, Bentley and Carter Knoll and Laszlo and Lucas Suto; and longtime friends, Connie Wieber Carll and Kate McCaslin.
A memorial party will be held at 3 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2020, at the Lake City Senior Center in Coeur d’Alene. Please bring a Gretchen story to share. You can also visit www.mykeeper.com/profile/GretchenFoucheKuch to share a tribute and to view the service after its conclusion.
In lieu of flowers please kindly consider a donation to Schneidmiller House – Hospice of North Idaho.
Gretchen, Grandma, you will be missed! Please save us a seat, where we know you will entertain us with your crazy stories about life in heaven surrounded by all your Westies.