Funeral Services for Vernon Koch, 99, of Milaca will be Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Milaca with the Rev. David Hahn officiating. Visitation will be from 4 - 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1 at the church with a Prayer service at 7 p.m. and also one hour prior to services at the church on Friday. Pallbearers will be his Grandsons, Rex Nelson, Kris Broschofsky, Neil Larsen, Adam Van Donsel, Dusty Van Donsel, Danny Van Donsel and Jon Fogel. Honorary pallbearers will be his Granddaughters, Roxie Van DeWater, Suzanne Hove, Tiffany Byers-Draeger, Dionne Haberman, Brandee Kelash, Michelle Meixell, Christine Schlenker and Sara Moorlag.
Vern died Oct. 28 at Quiet Oaks Hospice in St. Augusta, Minn. Prior to his death, he resided and was lovingly cared for by the wonderful staff at Country Meadows Assisted Living in Milaca.
He was born Oct. 23, 1913 to August and Elizabeth (Doss) Koch in Rock Rapids, Iowa. In 1915 he moved with his parents to start their family farm in Borgholm Township. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Milaca, where he has been a faithful and active member his entire life, serving in various church offices and teaching Sunday School for many years. He was a good and faithful servant of the Lord.
He attended O’Neil School Dist #49 through 8th grade. He graduated from Milaca High School in 1931. He rode horses 5 miles to high school the first year and a half until the school bus services started. His employment prior to the service included hired farm work, Milaca Coop Creamery and Seeger Refrigeration Co, in St. Paul.
He was drafted into the Army in July 1940 and was sent to the Aleutian Islands in Nov. 1940 with the 201st Infantry, where he served 2 1/2 years. He was then stationed at Camp Carson, Colo., Fort Jackson, S.C. and Camp Rucker, Ala. He was honorably discharged in Oct 1945 and was a member of the local American Legion.
On May 17, 1944, he married June Swanson. In 1947, they started Koch’s Hardware in Foreston and in 1975 relocated the store to its current location in Milaca, retiring from the Hardware business in 1987.
Vern will be greatly missed by his loving family and friends. He was a pillar of the community and a quiet source of strength for his family. He and June enjoyed traveling, meeting people and developing many new friendships along the way and a variety of outdoor activities throughout his lifetime. Some of his favorite hobbies in his later years were woodworking, building wooden toys and bird houses for every family member and several friends, playing cribbage, doing word and jigsaw puzzles.
He is survived by his daughters, Julie (Jerry) Nelson of Aitkin, Joline (Larry) Molstad of St. Cloud, Janet (Roger) Ryan and Jean (Mike) Larsen, all of Milaca, Joyce (Chuck) Van Donsel of Foreston and Janelle (Bill) Fogel of Milaca; special nephew Brent (Barb) Swanson of Hugo; grandchildren, Roxie (Art) VanDeWater of River Falls, Wis., Rex (Sandy) Nelson of Blaine, Suzanne (Mark) Hove of Circle Pines, Tiffany (Theron) Byers-Draeger of Big Lake, Lindsey (Chris) Molstad of Duluth, Dionne (Mike) Haberman and Kris (Joline) Broschofsky, all of Milaca, Brandee (Rob) Kelash of Foley, Denise (Jim) Majerus and Connie Renner, all of Milaca, Steven (Jennifer) Ryan of Isanti, Michelle (Basil) Meixell and Neil Larsen, all of Milaca, Adam (Amy) Van Donsel of Foreston, Dusty (Jennifer) Van Donsel of Milaca, Danny (Christina) Van Donsel of Milaca, Christine (Noah) Schlenker of Milaca, Jon Fogel of Fargo, N.D. and Sara (Jon) Moorlag of Sartell; 31 great-grandchildren; sister Mildred (Ron) Van Sickle; step-brother Louis (Mary) Smith of Milaca; and many other nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Vern was preceded in death by his parents; his brother Arthur; his loving wife June; grandsons, Chad Broschofsky and Jon Molstad; and step-mother Nellie Striker.