WILLMAR -- Longtime Willmar teacher Noemia Gesch died Wednesday morning in a Rio de Janeiro hospital, according to her Caring Bridge website.
Gesch, 64, retired this spring from the Willmar Public Schools where she had taught English Language Learner classes for more than 25 years at Willmar Middle School.
According to her Caring Bridge site, Gesch became ill during a visit to her native Brazil. She was admitted to Hospital Balbino on July 6 with pneumonia. She suffered serious complications with her lungs and kidneys and died Wednesday after a heart attack. She was in a medically induced coma for about two weeks but was awake for visits from her family for the past week.
Gesch was a native of Brazil. She was married to Willmar native Jerry Gesch, and they had seven children.
Her family posted a notice of her death on Caring Bridge and on her Facebook pages. They asked people to share their happy memories of her. Both sites began to fill with condolences left by friends and relatives Wednesday afternoon.
"Today I lost a wonderful friend!" wrote Kristi Marie Wiener-Morales on Facebook. "Who will I make oatmeal raisin cookies for?"
Wrote Katie Isaacson of Hopkins on Caring Bridge: "Jerry and Family, So sorry to hear of Noemia's passing, she was an amazing lady who touched many lives. I will always remember her beautiful smile. You are all in my prayers."
Tiffany Wachtler left a simple Facebook posting: A heart symbol, followed by one word, "tears."