He is survived by his wife of 61 years Eleanor Ann (Winkelmann) Koch; three children: Karol Koch of St. Louis County; Richard Koch of Richmond Heights and Kathleen (Roddy) Brockelmeyer of Kirkwood; a sister: Idalla Koch of Kirkwood; three grandchildren: Jakob Brocklemeyer of Kirkwood, Nathan Koch Richmond Heights and Travis Brockelmeyer of Kirkwood. He was proceeded in death by his younger brother at age 15, Otto Koch. Chris Forbes of Fenton was his honorary son and children’s “brother from another mother” – Pop Koch Strong. Henry, his forever furry companion was waiting for him on the other side of the rainbow bridge for much missed tummy rubs.
Visitation is scheduled from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Thursday, May 10, at Kutis Funeral Home, 5255 Lemay Ferry Rd., in south St. Louis County. A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 11, at Assumption Parish, 4725 Mattis Road, in St. Louis County. Burial is in the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Heifer International, www.heifer.org
Richard attended Hadley Technical High School. He was captain of the cross country team and led them to state championship during his senior year. He served in the Army during the Korean War, graduated with leadership training honors, and was stationed in Alaska. He was an honorary Girl Scout Dad.
Mr. Koch retired from Chandeysson Electric Company after 40 years of service. During his retirement years, he enjoyed adventures with each of his three grandsons before they entered school. Rich enjoyed leisure time spent with family and friends at his lake front property near Bismarck, Missouri. He was always an inquisitive soul wanting to know how things worked. He enjoyed a good debate and hearing different views of a topic. Through his actions, his children and grandchildren were taught to enjoy the wonders of nature. Rich followed the Blues from their NHL debut hoping to see them raise the Stanley Cup and a parade down Market Street.
He will be forever loved and deeply missed by his family.
Rick Koch’s Facebook Post May 4, 2018 10:41am
I lost my father last night.
Some of his last actions were to ask to make sure everybody was OK, to give my mom a back rub and then let go of all his pain surrounded by his loved ones and smell of baking chocolate chip cookies. After he passed, my mom gently rested on him, held his hand, and made her peace with losing a man she loved for over 60 years. I will never see a more achingly beautiful sight in my life.
Today was going to be a particularly rough day because we were scheduled to meet with the doctor as a group to make mom and dad aware that all his battles had led him to a challenge he could not defeat. I had a feeling the “Buddha Belly” he had developed was ominous. I also had the feeling that this was a man who made peace with his death after a life filled with much joy – including adventures with their 3 grandchildren. My comment at this gathering was going to be “don’t worry – we will take care of mom and we will take care of each other.” I realize now I did not need to say that because that is how they were us raised to behave.
By living as long as he did, he saw a number of people go before him. His parents – his younger brother – so many relatives and friends. I have no doubt they are getting reacquainted as he accepts his new Guardian Angel position in the “Big Softie/Occasionally Cantankerous/Very Opinionated” division. I also have no doubt that he was met at the pearly gates by his beloved dog Henry – who is now catching up on all those missed belly rubs.
Everyone needs to go hug those close to them and tell them you love them,
PS: As I was typing this, so many Pop Koch stories came to mind. As anyone who has been in this situation knows, the final months are a shuffle between hospital-rehab-home. As a family, we tend toward the loud end of the scale. During this last stint in rehab, we would gather in the dining room. I think dad realized how lucky he was to be surrounded by his family – despite the many times we drove him crazy – in a room with so many folks eating alone.
What I don’t think he realized was his effect on the other patients. In rehab, the one thing that everyone wants is to get out. For various reasons – especially his hard headed determination – he followed those damn painful exercises and made great strides. He ended up with his picture on the wall as one of the star rehabbers. As it became known he was going home, many patients stopped my sisters and told them – “if Pop Koch can do it, I can do it”
Pop Koch Strong ya’ll
Richard Koch and Henry – Thanksgiving 2016
Advice To A Young Rick – Class Assignment Fall 2017