Edward Herman Koch passed into his next life on Wednesday, Nov. 25, due to complications resulting from a fall while walking in a park. Born on Oct. 19, 1936, in Breese, Illinois, he was the treasured only child of Frances Dressler Koch and Herman Koch. He attended McKendree College for two years before transferring to Illinois State University where he played varsity basketball.
Following two years of high school teaching, he became a teacher in the U.S. Department of Defense Dependents Schools for two years. This allowed him to visit Russia, Egypt, and many European countries before returning to the U.S. for a masters in political science and history at Illinois State University.
While in graduate school, he met his wife, Karen Kuhfuss Koch, who joined him while he taught in England. They returned to Trenton, Illinois where he ran a wholesale distribution company, Koch Candy Company, which had been founded by his father in 1936.
As a pillar of the community, he served as a director for Community Bank of Trenton for 32 years, acting as chairman for half those years, treasurer of the Trenton Council of Churches, president of the Illinois Candy and Tobacco Distributors, president of the Trenton Chamber of Commerce, board member of Trenton St. John United Church of Christ, and a volunteer at the Green Bean Food Pantry and with the Boy Scouts. He continues his legacy of giving by being an organ donor. Following his retirement, he took great pleasure in traveling with Karen and attending his grandchildrens’ activities.
Ed was known for his unfailing thoughtfulness, kindness, ready smile and humor. He and Karen relocated to Kirkwood, Missouri, in 2018. He was an enthusiastic participant in the Washington University Lifelong Learning program, having facilitated two courses in Russian history.
Ed is survived by his wife, three children and their families: Devin (Cammy) of Mill Valley, California, Caroline Young (Kendall) of Des Peres, Missouri, and Kristen (Jessie) of Santa Barbara, California. His beloved grandchildren are Marissa, Ellery, and Griffin Young, and Ayla Koch-Bergren.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Green Bean Food Pantry in Trenton or Kirk Care of Kirkwood and will be received through Moss Funeral Home, 535 N. 5th, Breese, IL, who is serving the family.