Highland: Obituaries

David Koch, 78

David Koch
David Koch

David V. Koch, 78, of Carbondale, formerly of Highland, died on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015 at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, with his wife and children at his side.

A graveside funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5 in Highland City Cemetery. Arrangements are being handled by Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland.

He was born on Feb. 19, 1937 in Highland to Victor Hugo and Eunice (Matter) Koch.

Mr. Koch graduated from Highland High School in 1955. He attended college at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., where he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism in 1959. He began his professional career as a reporter and columnist for the Dayton Journal Herald.

He came to Carbondale in the early 1960s as part of a team of newspaper professionals to manage and guide the transition of the campus newspaper to a daily paper. While in Carbondale, Mr. Koch received a master’s degree in English from Southern Illinois University. He then taught English for several years at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He returned to Carbondale in 1970, joining the faculty of Morris Library as rare books librarian. In 1980, he became director (and later, associate dean) of the Special Collections Research Center, retiring in 2005.

As director of special collections, Mr. Koch nurtured both the collections and the researchers. He was a strong advocate and leader in the transition of material to computer access. He encouraged the growth of the southern Illinois local history collections. Other significant collections which grew under his watch include the Irish Literary Renaissance, the Ralph E. McCoy Freedom of the Press collection, the Twentieth Century Philosophy collections (especially the Open Court Press), and books, manuscripts, and other material of the Expatriate era between the world wars, especially that of Kay Boyle, who was also an academic research interest of his.

Survivors include his wife, Loretta Koch, whom he married on Aug. 25, 1979, in New Harmony, Ind.; his children John (Jean) Koch, Victor Koch and Elizabeth Koch; grandchildren, Jeremy Koch and Brittany (Matthew) Blaise; sisters, Carol McCarty and Susan Newsom; John’s mother, Noel Vaughn; and Victor’s mother, Carolyn Koch.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers-in-law, Robert McCarty and Floyd Newsom.

Memorials may be made to the Earthwatch Institute (114 Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134), the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, St. Francis CARE Animal Shelter, or the Faith United Methodist Church in Vergennes.

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