Judy Koch: Bringing Books to Children with Love and Joy
May 18, 1943 – February 21, 2023
“Live life with purpose!” Judy Koch was fond of saying—and that she did most notably with the founding of nonprofit Bring Me a Book in 1997, propelled by a mission to help all children grow a joyful and sustainable reading habit—supported by family engagement and a partnership with the public library.
Judy’s life of purpose was driven by her unique kindness, generosity of spirit, and joie de vivre. Judy made every day an adventure, shaped by her earnest belief that it was always possible to help others.
Judy’s life mission was to spread joyful literacy. It was born during her first career as a junior high English teacher and deepened in her second career as the owner and CEO of RSP Manufacturing, a precision sheet metal fabrication company that served Silicon Valley tech companies.
Here, in the RSP factory, she created a model of “workplace literacy,” and built a library of exquisite children’s literature for her employees, primarily recent immigrants from Mexico, to bring home to their children. After she sold the business, it was this model that launched Bring Me a Book.
Inspired by the words of poet and author Walter de la Mare: “I know well that only the rarest kind of best can be good enough for the young,” Judy curated book collections for young children from birth to age five.
Judy understood—through her close observations of children over the years—which books they loved best and wanted to hear read aloud again and again. The Bring Me Book legacy collections are known as “Read It Again!” books. They never fail to delight those fortunate children who get to choose books to take home so they can, with their families, read the books again and again.
Judy never tired of seeing a child’s face light up with the joy of reading. She gave her heart to the literacy lives of children, lighting their lives and ours, with her kindness, generosity, and love.
We are so honored to have supported Judy’s mission and vision and we pledge to continue. As our Bring Me a Book Board member Jon Porter said, “It’s now up to us to carry on Bring Me a Book in Judy’s name. That’s how we honor and remember her.”
If desired, memorials in Judy’s honor can be made to Bring Me A Book Foundation (www.bringmeabook.org).