It had been a couple of weeks since my mother had seen Mr. Koch. She had even started asking around the market if anyone had seen him around. Then one day a lady she thought may have been a nurse from Raulerson Hospital, came and found her at her booth. Telling her Mr. Koch was in the hospital with an aneurysm, and had been transferred via helicopter to St. Mary's Hospital in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The Departure of Frederick (Ed)
MY MOTHER HAS IDENTIFIED FREDERICK ROBINSON KOCH FROM THE PHOTOS AT THE TOP OF THIS ARTICLE AS THE MAN THAT VISITED WITH HER AND SOLD HER THIS ARTWORK.
My mother closed up her booth, and went and visited with him that very day. He was in the ICU, hooked up to a respirator, but awake and very alert. A nurse took my mother aside and asked her if she knew how to contact his family. My mother said that unfortunately she didn't, only that he had a twin brother but they didn't speak. Turning her attention back to Ed she was surprised at how alert he was for being in ICU. He was even able to communicate to her with his eyes and hands; such as giving her a double thumbs up. When my mother called back a few days later, she was told he was gone. She was so surprised as he seemed so alert when she visited with him. Within a few weeks, the air-stream trailer he had been staying at, was removed from the RV park. She had never been to his trailer she had only found out from locals he was staying there.
Around the time Mr. Koch passed away, my mother got the Jane Peterson authenticated by Sotheby's in Palm Beach. It went up for auction later that same year (1992) and unfortunately didn't sell. She had hoped that would be the catalyst for the remaining artwork to sell. From that point forward everything she tried to do with the artwork was always met with disappointment. We couldn't go back and question him, and the internet was in its infancy then. It became very hard to research. All we had is my mother's story of his visits and the random, scattered notes they both wrote during his visits. View the notes here.
My mother has always said that Ed had been telling her he was going to help her sell the artwork, but once he passed away, it was painfully obvious that would never happen. She was hesitant to do it by herself, because she wasn't sure if she believed his story, and her own life kept her focused on other matters. When she would work on the artwork, it was always a one step forward, two steps backward, kind of thing. Always leaving her defeated and deflated. What is suppose to be this amazing story was always anything but. She would find many years passing by before working on the artwork again, 2002 and then 2009 which brings us to where we are today.
So when it was taken back on in 2009 with the help of the internet by 2010 we had figured out it was Frederick Robinson Koch and to our amazement he is alive. We have an obituary from the Palm Beach Post for him. I asked my mother how someone knew to come find her at her booth to tell her he was in hospital. She never visited with him outside of the market, they didn't have each other's phone numbers, he would visit her at her booth. When she arrived at the hospital the nurse asked her if she knew if he had any family. Yet they knew about her and how to find her?
Below are several different screenshots of the obituary showing the lengths they went to, from several different newspapers. Again please note the date is 1992, lived in Okeechobee and died in West Palm Beach. Just to let you know William Koch's Oxbow Corporation WAS just under 5 miles away from St Mary's Hospital on 45th Street.
The social security index image shows he died March 1st, the Miami Herald states March 24th and the others only state April 1st. THIS IS WHAT BEING A BILLIONAIRE ALLOWS YOU TO GET AWAY WITH.
Also the Sotheby's receipt below proves a close date to the above date of death. This document is discussed more in the Jane Peterson post click here to view it.