Chong-He (Coco) Koh, left this world peacefully in her sleep on May 31st in Kelowna after a brief battle with cancer. Coco was of Korean descent, but was born in Osaka, Japan on April 19, 1967. She spent her youth in Japan attending a Korean school and overcame a lot of discrimination there as a Japanese-Korean.
She decided to come to Canada in her 20’s for a fresh start. She studied English in Vancouver in the 90’s and easily found employment in a number of restaurants, hotels and travel agencies as she was multilingual and a very hard worker. It was a job in Vancouver at the Canadian College of English Language however that changed her life. She had found her calling! She worked there as a student counselor, homestay coordinator and international marketer. After a few years there Coco decided to open her own language school in Kelowna. This was a brave undertaking in 2002 as many foreign students had never heard of Kelowna or the Okanagan at that time. International Gateway Kelowna started with 1 Japanese-Korean student in 2003 and has flourished since then under her caring leadership and business acumen.
Today, the school continues to thrive with students from over 30 countries, more than 20 program offerings for ages 8-80 and a brand new campus that opened in 2017. Coco leaves behind a legacy in this community that won’t be equaled. Coco was very active in the community and in various causes close to her heart like Paws it Forward and Save the Manatee. She would like to especially thank IGK’s staff, host families and business partners for their support through the years.
Coco is survived by her loving husband Quentin Trollip, and her precious daughter Zoe.
Coco’s celebration of life will be held at Springfield Funeral Home on Friday, June 8th 2018, at 5 pm.
In lieu of flowers/gifts please make a donation to Paws it Forward, www.pawsitforward.org/.
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