Cover photo for Ralph Richard Koecher's Obituary
Ralph Richard Koecher Profile Photo
1946 Ralph 2019

Ralph Richard Koecher

November 23, 1946 — November 20, 2019

Memorial services for Ralph Koecher, age 72, of Milaca, will be held Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 11:30 AM at Milaca United Methodist Church with Pastor Joyce Slostad officiating.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.

He was born November 23, 1946 in Stacy, Minnesota to Leonard and Genevieve Koecher.  As a young boy, he and two of his siblings became wards of the state.  He lived in Moose Lake and Cambridge State Hospitals.  After release, he lived in a group home in Isle.  He started attending the Mille Lacs County DAC in Milaca.  There, he met Leona Mort and let everyone know that he wanted to live with her and her husband, Art.  He entered adult foster care with them and lived there for 37 years until Art passed away in 2002.  He then went to live with Phil and Joyce Anderson with Rosella Selby-Hele and Mary Arey as his guardians.  He remained there until he went to be with Jesus on November 20, 2019.

Ralph lived to go to church and the support of the members of the United Methodist Church meant the world to him.  He loved going to the DAC and enjoyed his friends and the staff.  He took pride in his work and being able to earn his own money.  He said he was a “rich man”.

He would call himself “Koecher Pickle” or “Pickle Pete” because he loved pickles.  He enjoyed his roosters, Johnny Cash songs, collecting CDs and DVDs, caps, and mugs from places he had been.  He helped plant his own garden.  While living on the farm with Art and Leona, he kept track of everything and everyone. 

Ralph enjoyed going to garage sales, Sunday coffee, family gatherings, plane and road trips.  He traveled to Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina, Colorado, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, California, Utah, Arizona, Iowa, Nevada, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Montana, and Hawaii, as well as Manitoba and Ontario, Canada.

Ralph had an uncanny ability to predict future events.

Some of Ralph’s favorite phrases were, “good job”, “you betcha”, “crossways”, “semi semi”, “wheyee”, and “how do you like those rotten apples?”

Ralph enjoyed the wonderful times he had with his nephews, Josh, Brandon, Lucas and John.  He always knew what to say to make each one of them laugh.

We were blessed to have him as part of our family as everyone who met him was blessed.

Ralph is survived by his biological siblings, Martha and Nicholas Koecher; foster sisters, Rose Selby-Hele, Joyce (Phillip) Anderson, and Mary Arey; nephews, H. Lucas (Joanna) Selby-Hele, John Selby-Hele, and Brandon Arey; great-nephews, Aidan and Wyatt Selby-Hele and Emmett Arey; long-time friend, Dave Bulf; also extended foster family and friends.

He was preceded in death by Leona and Arthur Mort, H. George Selby-Hele, Joshua Arey, Steven Carl Westley, Steven Mark Westley; dear friend and foster cousin, Byron Larsen.

St. Croix Hospice has provided exceptional care for Ralph during the last year and a half of his life.  Ralph enjoyed joking with the staff and his PCA, Brittney.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ralph Richard Koecher, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

Milaca United Methodist Church

310 3rd Ave NW, Milaca, MN 56353

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Starts at 11:30 am (Central time)

Milaca United Methodist Church

310 3rd Ave NW, Milaca, MN 56353

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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