This obituary was submitted by the family:
On June 18, 2017, Father’s Day, Ricky Ray Koch, age 60 lost his life in a motorcycle accident while riding with close friends on the Dalton Highway near Livengood, Alaska, out past Fairbanks. His friends tried to perform CPR on him but were unsuccessful.
A Funeral Mass will be held 29 June at 1:00 pm at Our Lady Of The Angels Catholic Church, 225 South Spruce Street, Kenai, AK followed by a Celebration Of Life at the Kenai Senior Center, 361 Senior Court, Kenai, AK starting at 5:30 PM.
For the Celebration Of Life attendees are invited to wear loud Hawaiian shirts, awful camouflaged shorts and/or mismatched prints in honor of Rick’s truly horrendous fashion sense.
Every July for the past 21 years Rick has organized the Glenn Koch Memorial 1 Pitch Softball Tournament in Talkeetna, Alaska. This year the tournament will be renamed the Glenn & Rick Koch Memorial 1 Pitch Tournament. The tournament will be held in Talkeetna, Alaska, 7-9 July, 2017. Saturday, 8 July, at noon-ish there will be an Opening Ceremony with a dedication to Rick. All are invited to attend. For more information contact Pam Rannals at 907-733-2355.
In support of the Korean conflict, at Johnson Air Force Base in Irumagawa, Saitama Ken, Japan, on October 9th, 1956, Glenn and Patricia Koch had their first child, Ricky Ray Koch. It was the same night that the only perfect game in World Series history was pitched. Growing up Rick travelled all over the world and the United States while his father was in service to his country, in the United States Air Force, and eventually got stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in 1970. Rick grew up in Anchorage and graduated from Service High School in 1974. Rick attended Boise State University, George Washington University, and the University of Alaska. He was a Project Management Professional (PMP), and held various technical certifications. Rick became a Civil Engineer and worked all over the state of Alaska, including DOT, North Slope Borough, UIC Construction, the City of Palmer and he ended his career with the City of Kenai as City Manager. During the course of his career Rick successfully managed over $1 Billion of Alaska construction projects. Rick was also the longest serving President of the Iditarod Trail Committee, having served in that capacity for eight years, and on the Board of Directors for ten.
Other organizations that Rick belonged to included, Project Management Institute, Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District, Kenai River Special Management Area Advisory Committee, Alaska Municipal Managers Association, Alaska Executive Compensation Commission, International City & County Managers Association, Palmer Little League and Kenai Hockey Association
Rick retired from the Kenai City Manager position, 31December, 2016 and was living with his son Alex in Kenai at the time of his death. His son says “when I ask people about my father I hear people say he was the smartest man they have ever known, he really cared about the community”. Close friends said ” Rick was involved and invested in the community and cared about the citizens in it, but most important is how he loved and cared about his son Alex more than anything else”. Alex will forever be Rick’s “Sweet Boy”.
Rick’s father was a fighter jet mechanic in the Air Force and the apple did not fall far from the tree. Rick loved repairing “stuff”, If it was broken, he was the go to guy. Rick’s Mother, Pat, now deceased, often told the story of how Rick, while only a toddler, repaired a broken radio so they could hear the weather warnings during a typhoon in Japan. He enjoyed riding classic cars as a member of the Kaknu Kruzers, fishing, shooting, teaching gun safety, smoking a fine cigar, arguing politics and playing trivia games. When younger he raced motorcycles and snow machines. Speaking of snow machines, his favorite hobby was buying, restoring, selling and collecting old snow machines. Other hobbies: he loved sports. He played baseball at Boise State, played adult softball and umpired. His March Madness bracket was inevitably broken in the first round but he persisted year after year.
All other accomplishments paled in comparison to his son Alex. Rick always said, “Alex is the best thing I’ve ever done”. Anything son Alex wanted to do, Rick enjoyed. From coaching his baseball or hockey games to seeing his school choir concerts to taking cross country trips with Alex to visit family or conferences. Alex was his world.
Rick is survived by his son Alex Koch, sister Cynthia Koch, Alex’s Mom Jackie [Sean] Kotter [Wasilla, AK], Bulldog George and Corgi-mix Max, all of Kenai. Uncle & Aunt James & Kathy Rockwell, Aunt Joan Nelson and Uncle & Aunt George & Betty Kunau, all of Clinton, Iowa; Aunt JoAnn Neubert, of Davenport, Iowa; Aunt Pat Kahler of Euless, Texas; Uncle & Aunt Francis [Junior] & Anna Koch of Highland, Illinois, and Uncle & Aunt Dave & Myra Franzen, of Spragueville, Iowa and numerous extended family members.
Rick is preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Patricia Koch of Anchorage, Bulldog Fred, Newfoundland-mix Ruby, Lab Lonely and Lab-mix Buster and Uncle Mike Rockwell, of Clinton, Iowa, Aunt Madonna Franzen, of Preston, Iowa and others from before them.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Rick’s name may be given to:
Beans Café, 1101 E. 3rd Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501 or Upper Susitna Softball Association, P.O. Box 472, Talkeetna, AK 99676.
Please visit www.alaskanfuneral.com to leave online condolences.