Sept. 22, 1943 - March 29, 22
Last updated 4/5/2022 at 1:36pm
Larry Koch was born in Ritzville, Wash. Sept. 22, 1943 to parents Lawrence & Normadine Koch. He attended school in Ritzville, Wash., graduating from Ritzville High School in 1961. Larry peacefully passed away Tuesday morning, March 29, in Spokane, Wash.
Larry’s dream job was to own and operate a café, thus the birth of Kochie’s Place, Lind’s newest business. However, the business burned to the ground shortly after opening leaving Larry with new options and decisions. Shortly after, Larry accepted a job at Union Elevator and Warehouse Company. In three years, he was promoted to the foreman of outside operations. After daily obligations, Larry would supervise and mentor many kids during their part time work. They fondly remember his patience, work ethic and his sense of humor, and they were constantly testing him. But, it was difficult to pull anything over on “Lar” and they rarely did. Larry also served a one year term as the president of the NCW Grain Warehouseman’s Conference. He remained at Union Elevator until his retirement.
Larry served on the Lind City Council and was a ‘hands on’ Mayor of Lind, serving the Town of Lind for three terms (1994 – 2009). It was not uncommon to see him making repairs on a roof or mowing grass and weeds on the walking trail. He repaired equipment and could drive and operate most equipment, and he was present for all towns’ activities.
He was a 42 year member of the Lind Lions Club, serving 2 terms as president. He was especially known for his tail-twisting tactics and no one attended a Lions event without having money for the “pot” and the nerve to stand and face the tail-twister. He made sure his ‘victims’, and there were many, had to stand and ‘face’ his accusations. He insisted that all fines were paid, and he did so with a grin on his face. He was well known in the Ritzville and Odessa clubs for his popular annual Thanksgiving Turkey Dinners spending days preparing turkeys with roasters of homemade dressing and all the trimmings.
In 1988, Larry was chosen as one of 9 community members to plan and orchestrate the 9 day celebration of Lind’s Centennial. It was a busy time for Lind as the Memorial Park and Centennial activities kept Larry and committee busy and involved for many years. And thus the birth of the Combine Demolition Derby which found Larry repairing, decorating, and transporting the women’s demo combine to various events.
Larry was usually optimistic and willing to try something new. He designed, planned and built a house on the south side of Lind, and when asked why, he said he just wanted to see if he could get the job done. He did! Although short lived, he named his new business “Bent Nail Construction”.
To many kids in Lind, Larry’s greatest attributes included the many years he donned a Santa Claus suit to hear Christmas wishes for the Lions Club, Centennial Christmas, and the Christmas Parade. He always willingly wore that red suit and was very proud of himself that he never once had to add any padding to the suit. That thing fit him like a glove!
Larry loved visiting friends at the lake and hosting pinochle parties. He loved a good rodeo, especially making his annual trip to the Ellensburg Rodeo and his favorite trips were to the NFR in Las Vegas. If you ever saw him driving by with a passenger, you might assume he was off to a grandchild’s ball game or was driving a friend to an appointment.
We will miss him! The contagious smile and terrific sense of humor were priceless, and we will never forget a good father and friend.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Normadine & Lawrence, step father Albert Kulm, his two brothers, Gale and Gerald, and a grandson Nathan. He is survived by six children: John, Heidi, Tina, Kim, Kevin and Kreg. Larry leaves behind 9 grandchildren & 10 great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to the Lind Lions Club, PO Box 37, Lind, WA 99341.