BOB KOCH 1922-2009
On June 17, 2009, Bob, “Bobby” Koch passed away in Royal Inland Hospital at the age of 87.
Bob was predeceased by his beloved wife Betty, parents George and Hazel, inlaws Thomas and Elizabeth, sister Georgina, brothers-in-law Johnny, Graham, Arnold and Ted, sisters-in-law Ellen, Margaret, Jean and Gladys, nephew Jim, nieces Terry and Kathy.
Dad leaves to cherish his memory son Scott (Glenys), grandson Chris (Heather) of Kamloops, granddaughter Laurel of Kelowna, his sisters Doris of Calgary, Alberta and Jean of Vossburg, Mississippi. “Uncle Bob’s” family also includes nieces and nephews Arlene, Cal, Brenda, Douglas, Rick, Cathy, Barbara Ann, Danny, Kevin, Tom, Jane and Marg, their partners and family and many, many friends.
He was born at Mrs. Hesselgrave’s Nursing Home in Irricana Alberta on January 12, 1922, the oldest of four children. As a young man growing up in Strathmore Alberta he fished, hunted, and competed successfully in track and field, golf and hockey. His parents owned the Strathmore Hotel and it was there he was raised, his bedroom over the bar. Perhaps that is where the life long non-smoker discovered his love for the golden nectar? In 1940 at the age of 18 he was recruited by the Calgary Stampeders Hockey Club that had won the Allan Cup the previous year. He followed that up with a stint with Baltimore Orioles Hockey Team. During World War II he joined the RCAF and was a trained wireless operator. At the conclusion of the war he joined the New Westminster Royals in the Pacific Coast Hockey League. The Chicago Blackhaws of the six-team NHL called, but Dad made the decision to seek an education.
While with the Royals the shy red head fell for the raven haired beauty Betty, whom he married in 1948. They thoroughly enjoyed over 59 years of “a great life” together until Mom’s passing in 2007. They lived life to its fullest, loved, laughed, played, and worked hard with little, if any, regrets. The family truly believes that Dad’s passing is the result of a broken heart.
From 1948-50 Dad attended U.B.C. where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy. He also starred as a right winger with the UBC Thunderbirds. In the 50’s they worked and resided in New Westminster. Dad played golf out of the Vancouver Golf and Country Club where he won many tournaments including the New Westminster Amateur as well as the club championship. He also played a few more years for the Royals until the combination of working as a pharmacist and hockey injuries made life somewhat difficult.
In 1960 they made the fortuitous decision to move to Chase and open Chase Drugs, which later became People’s Drug Mart. Dad worked six days a week for years and the odd good weather day off caught him playing 18 or more holes. He was successful at more tournaments than you could yip a putt at, especially at Sunshore and Shuswap Lake Estates. In 1978 Dad and Mom retired and 110-150 rounds of golf a year were played. Mixed in with this was dancing, especially with Betty, curling, bowling, cross country skiing and travelling. Good times were plenty at The Legion, the Clubhouse and friend’s homes. Dad though the world of the community of Chase and surrounding area. He was a life member of the Elks and a 49-year member of the Legion Branch 107.
In 2000 the 48-50 Thunderbirds were inducted into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame. In 2006 Dad was inducted into the Hall, only the 2nd hockey player in UBC history.
Dad did not wish for a traditional service so a social gathering will be held on Saturday, July 4, from 4-6 p.m. at Sunshore Golf Course. Bring a smile, a memory and something to sit on.
The family thanks all the staff at Baltic House at Ridgeview Lodge, Ponderosa Lodge 2nd Floor, R.I.H. Emergency, ICU, 6th Floor South and 3rd Floor West for their devotion and care over the past year. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kamloops S.P.C.A., 1211 8th Street, Kamloops, B.C. V2B 2Y3.