Cover photo for Jerry Leo Koch's Obituary
Jerry Leo Koch Profile Photo
1929 Jerry 2024

Jerry Leo Koch

March 26, 1929 — January 16, 2024

Yankton

 

Jerry Leo Koch, age 94, of Yankton, South Dakota, passed away peacefully surrounded by family members on Tuesday, January 16, 2024, at Avera Majestic Bluffs.  

 Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, January 24, 2024, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Fordyce, Nebraska with Reverend Jim Keiter officiating.   Burial will be in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Fordyce.  Visitation will be from 4:00 to 6:00 PM on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Fordyce with a rosary and vigil service at 6:00 PM.   Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home in Hartington, Nebraska.

 Jerry was born and raised on the family farm, which his grandparents Bernhard and Josephine homesteaded in 1895, to Adolph and Anna Potts Koch on March 26, 1929.  He attended District 56 school.  After graduation he began farming with his Dad.   On January 9, 1952, he married the love of his life Colette Lange by Father Anthony Kluthe at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Bow Valley, Nebraska.  After he was married, he continued to live on the family farm and received the 100 year Pioneer Farm award in 1985.  His treasure was his first tractor, an Allis Chalmers WD45, making farming a lot easier.  He also had a large dairy herd throughout his farming career.  He built a new home on an acreage on the farm in 1991, where he continued farming until he retired in 2014.

 Jerry was very active in St John the Baptist Catholic Church.  He was on the Parish Council, West Catholic School Board, Fordyce Co-Op board for 12 years, and is a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus.   

 Together with Colette they loved square dancing and ballroom dancing especially to the waltz and polka.  Playing a variety of card games was a favorite pastime and he was a masterful sheephead player.  He enjoyed going on trips both in the US and abroad.  Their European trip was highlighted by a Rome pilgrimage and connection with relatives in Munich.  Never one to avoid a challenge, he started playing golf at age 70 and had his career low score at Crofton Lakeview Golf Course.

 Family was very important to Jerry and Colette and they attended as many functions as possible for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  Dad was a hard-working farmer and always made Sundays special for the Lord, family, and friends.  On Sunday afternoons, mom and dad were always prepared with a meal and cake for surprise visits which included laughter, cards, and popcorn.   Dad always made it a point to assure that everyone was included.  He was always pleasant, welcoming, and had a calming presence.  Everyone enjoyed being around dad.  The staff and volunteers at Majestic Bluffs made a special note to tell us that Dad was an inspiration.

 Jerry is survived by his wife of 72 years, Colette; his 6 children: Patti (Dan) Eisenbraun of Yankton, South Dakota; Charlotte (Mike) Arens of Kearney, Nebraska; Janice (Rod) Schieffer of Crofton, Nebraska; Gary (Candyce) Koch of Fordyce, Nebraska; Tim (Janet) Koch of Omaha, Nebraska; Sandy (Mike) Draper of Omaha, Nebraska; 22 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; and his in-laws: Linus Lange, Jeanne Schieffer, Ed and Bernadette Lange and Evelyn Lange,.

 Jerry is preceded in death by his grandson, Timothy Daniel Koch; brother: Emery and his wife Evelyn Koch,; in-laws: Harold and Rainaldes Schulte, Leander and Sylvia Loecker, Jim and Theresa Stappert, June Lange, Loren Schieffer, Marvin Lange, and Sister Dianne Lange O.S.B.

 The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to the staff of Avera Majestic Bluffs for their loving and compassionate care.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerry Leo Koch, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm

St John the Baptist Catholic Church

311 Omaha St, Fordyce, NE 68736

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Rosary and Vigil Service

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Starts at 6:00 pm

St John the Baptist Catholic Church

311 Omaha St, Fordyce, NE 68736

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am

St John the Baptist Catholic Church

311 Omaha St, Fordyce, NE 68736

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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