James “Jim” Henry Koch was born on January 30, 1944, to Fred and Mildred (Wetherbee) Koch at Palmer Lutheran Health Center in West Union, Iowa. He graduated from North High School in West Union, Iowa in 1962.
Jim passed away at the age of 70 on Thursday, March 6, 2014, at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Jim was united in marriage to LaVonne Knief on November 15, 1964 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Klinger, Iowa. Five children were born to this union. The couple farmed near Hawkeye for 8 years and near West Union for 41 years. Jim was recognized for his farming achievements earning the Lutheran Young Farmer Award in 1974 and Jim and his family were selected as KWWL Farm Family of the Week.
Jim was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in West Union, Iowa, where he was active in Saturday morning men’s bible study and served as a council member. He was a member of the Fayette County and Iowa State Pork Producers, serving as state president from 1996 until 1997. He was very active in 4-H and FFA, earning several degrees and awards; honorary FFA chapter degree, FFA Appreciation Award in 1992, Outstanding Service Award FFA in 1998, Iowa FFA Degree in 1962, and American FFA Degree in 1965. Jim also served on the Fayette County Fair Board. According to his family, “Jim lived to love his faith”. He was named Brotherhood Man of the Year in 1979 and Outstanding Young Religious Leader by the West Union Jaycees.
He enjoyed fishing, camping, reading and grilling. Jim had a passion for music and played the trombone as a member of HiLiters Dance Band and concert band. Jim attained the rank of Eagle Scout as a member of the Boy Scouts of America.
He is survived by his wife, LaVonne of West Union; five children, Dwane (Roni Sue) Koch of Hawkeye, IA, Rodney (Loretta) Koch of Osage, IA, Teresa (John) Zweibahmer of Ossian, IA, Brian Koch of Waukon, IA, and Keith (Bobbie Jo) Koch of Hawkeye, IA; three sisters, Lorraine (Steve) Sindelar, Ellen (Bob) Helming, and Arlene (Leon) Soppe; a brother, Bill Koch; an aunt, Alice Koester; thirteen grandchildren, Stephanie, Kayleigh and Tiffanie Koch; Darin, Adam, Hannah, Lydia Koch; Michael, Ashley, Amanda, and Andrea Zweibahmer; and Courtney and Austin Koch; two god-children, Matthew Adrian and Lisa Russell; a mentor, Wayne Marquette; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister-in-law, Cheryl Koch.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 am on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at Zion Lutheran Church in West Union, Iowa. Burial followed at Hawkeye Cemetery in Hawkeye, Iowa.
Visitation was held on Monday, March 10, 2014 from 4 pm until 8 pm at Zion Lutheran Church in West Union.
S.K. Rogers Funeral Home of West Union was in charge of the arrangements. 11u11