Nicholas Frank Koch Obituary

Description: Nicholas Frank Koch Obituary...Our Heartfelt Condolences To His Loved Ones...

Nicholas Frank Koch

03/19/1951 - 01/05/2021


Nicholas F. “Nick” Koch, 69, of Cheraw, Colorado, died January 5, 2021 at Memorial Central Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Nick was born March 19, 1951, the son of Sylvester and Dorothy Mae Mergenmeier Koch. He attended school in Baileyville and graduated from B&B as the valedictorian on June 11,1969. He received an appointment to West Point Military Academy but declined this honor and joined the USAF. His Basic Training, and long military career started at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB), San Antonio, Texas.

After basic training, he attended Aircraft Maintenance Specialist school, C-130 Crew Chief Technical School at Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, Texas. His first permanent duty station was Forbes AFB, Topeka, Kansas where he served as an Assistant Crew Chief on C-130E aircraft in the fall of 1969. In mid-1970 he was sent to a Special Operations School at Lockbourne AFB in Columbus, Ohio. In October 1970, he reported to the 16th Special Operations Squadron in Ubon, Thailand where he became the Crew Chief for the AC-130A Gunship – Ghost Rider. His Gunship saw heavy action during the Vietnam conflict and routinely flew missions over the Ho Chi Minh trail.

In September 1971, he returned home and married Ann Baker in Emporia, KS before being stationed at Dyess AFB, Abilene, TX. While at Dyess AFB he was assigned to the 463d Tactical Air Command where he once again worked on C-130E aircraft and performed two 75-day temporary duty assignments to Europe — one to England and one to Germany. After his second return from Europe, he prepared for his final permanent change of station to Cannon AFB, Clovis, New Mexico where he worked in Maintenance Job Control for F-111 aircraft. He was discharged as a SSgt (E-5) in June of 1973.

While in the Air Force he performed military service in: Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio, Thailand, Philippines, Guam, Midway, Okinawa, Wake Island, Adak Alaska, Washington State, Canada, Iceland, Portugal, Germany, England, Spain, France, Italy, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.

After his discharge from the Air Force, he utilized the GI Bill and attended Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS where he received a Bachelor’s of Science and later a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. He successfully passed his Engineer-in-Training test in the fall of 1977 and his Professional Engineering (PE) test in the spring of 1982. On June 6, 1983, he received a Direct Commission as an Ensign (0-1) in the United States Navy Reserve Civil Engineer Corps. His first Navy Reserve assignment was the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of Reserve Naval Construction Force Support Unit 2 (RNCFSU-2), Seabee Detachment B, Pueblo, Colorado. Two years later he was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade (0-2) and became the Detachment OIC for the combined Pueblo and Colorado Springs detachment with 120 Seabees. A year later, he became the Equipment Officer and Embarkation Officer for RNCFSU-2 and on July 1, 1987, he was promoted to Lieutenant, LT, (0-3). After his promotion, he served as the Training Officer (S-2) and Alpha Company Commander for NCFSU-2 before becoming Delta Company Commander for Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 17 (NMCB-17). His next assignment was the NMCB-17 Operations Officer (S-3) for the 650 person Seabee Battalion. He was then promoted to Lieutenant Commander, LCDR, (04) on July 1, 1994 and received an assignment as a Facilities Plans Officer to the Joint Task Force Contingency Engineering Management (JTFCEM) Detachment B, Pacific Command. Once again was promoted to Commander, CDR, (0-5) on July 1, 1999 and remained with his unit until he was mobilized on October 1, 2001.

While on Reserve Duty he performed active-duty service in: Laos, Thailand, Republic of Palau, islands of Kayangel and Peleliu, Okinawa, Japan, island of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Alaska, New York, California, Arizona, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Minnesota, Washington State, Florida, Washington D.C., Illinois, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Hawaii, island of Diego Garcia, and some other islands. Became Qualified as a Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist on October 17, 1992, and a Level Ill Certified Contingency Engineer in September 2007.

After the foreign attack on our World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, then Commander   (0-5) Koch was mobilized on Ann and his 30th wedding anniversary. He supported Operation Noble Eagle as a Contingency Engineer outside the continental United States with a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) security clearance. He was later promoted to Captain, CAPT (0-6), on September 1, 2004, an achievement he was very proud of.

His second mobilization was on August 28, 2005, to support Operation Enduring Freedom with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency located in the Pentagon. In this important role he served as the Program Manager for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and High Energy Explosives.

His third and final mobilization on occurred January 18, 2007 when he served in Kuwait as the country engineer – US Army’s Area Support Group Engineer for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In total, he served close to three years of mobilized active duty in the United States Navy.

While in the Navy he performed military operations in: Hawaii, Japan, Republic of Singapore, Diego Garcia, Philippines, California, Oklahoma, Washington D.C., Virginia, Canada, North Carolina, New Mexico, Mississippi, Argentina, Tennessee, New York, Maine, and Kuwait. He retired in March of 2011 with 32 years of military service.

Before moving to Colorado, he and Ann lived in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and Connecticut. In 1982 they settled in the small farming and ranching town of Cheraw Colorado. There he built up, owned and operated, a small irrigated family farm/ranch where he raised many different exotic animals including; Black Buck Antelope, European Fallow deer, Japanese Sika deer and many other animals over its 38 years of operation. He was a member of the Arkansas Valley Water Board in Pueblo, CO, the American Legion of Axtell, KS, Our Lady of Guadeloupe St Patrick’s Catholic Church, City Council of Cheraw, Mayor pro-temp of Cheraw and volunteer fireman for Cheraw. His hobbies included, farming, welding, construction and spending time with his children and grandchildren all while continually challenge his more than fifty nieces and nephews. He was very proud of his engineering background and was always willing to help build and design things for anyone in need.

Nick leaves behind his wife of 49 years, Ann; children, Joseph Koch of Denver CO, Ronald Koch of Oxford, MI, Jacob (and his wife Cynthia) Koch of Henderson, NV, Margaret Williams of Landsdale, PA; brothers, Jerry, Charles, Greg (“Beaver”), and Tom (“Bones”), all of Baileyville; sisters, Deb Warchuck of Ruth, MI, Annette Wietharn of Overland Park, Mary Wietharn of St. Mary’s, Elizabeth Stallbaumer of Axtell and Stella Reeder of Topeka; grandchildren Kory, Trenton and Dominic Williams, Calvin, Annabel and Genesis Koch; 1 great-grandchild Camden Williams; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Sylvester, on March 16, 1970, his mother, Dorothy Mae “Dot” Koch on June 17, 2019; siblings, Peter M. Koch on February 13, 2008 and Rosalie “Rosie” Ann Koch Haverkamp on October 19, 2009; and a nephew, Jeremiah Haverkamp, on May 3, 1987.

A rosary will be prayed at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday January 9, 2021 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Baileyville.

Mass of Christian burial will be on Saturday Morning at 11:00 A.M. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Baileyville. Burial will be in the Church Cemetery with Military Honors.