Michael Joseph Koch, 61, died Jan. 7, 2019 in Bismarck. Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Third Street and Avenue A., Bismarck, with the Rev. Canon Zanne Ness and Interim Rector Patricia Eustis of St. George’s Episcopal Church officiating.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, where a prayer service will begin at 7 p.m.
Michael Joseph Koch was born April 3, 1957 in Bismarck to Robert “Bob” and Margaret (Wald) Koch. He was the second oldest of nine siblings. He graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1975. Mike completed an auto tech program and started his first job with Schneiders as a mechanic and later worked for C&H Glass.
In 1984, Mike started K&K Flooring in partnership with his brother Tom doing a variety of carpentry work and flooring installation. They worked together for three years and when Tom moved out of state, Mike continued to operate the business successfully for more than 31 years.
In the fall of 1978, Mike met the love of his life, Debra Morrell. They married in 1980 and made their home in Bismarck. They were inseparable and their marriage a continuous adventure. They were blessed with three sons, Matthew, Christopher, and Shane. Without a doubt, Mike’s proudest achievement in life was his family. His relationship with his boys was indescribable. His hobbies became their hobbies; fishing, hunting, motorcycles, derbies, jet skis, mechanics, building, off-roading, you name it, they did it together. Their love of all things motors started with three-wheelers from the time they could walk. Mike had a love of learning and was always sharing what he knew. He taught the boys how to fix anything and build everything, from the basics of changing oil and building playhouses to rebuilding motors and constructing large buildings from the ground up.
Mike was an amazing husband and father, but nothing brought more joy to his life than his role as “Papa.” He adored his six grandchildren and they thought he hung the moon. Mike could always be found with arms open and a child on his lap. If there wasn’t a child on his lap, it meant he was on the floor wrestling or letting them crawl all over him. His love and dedication was endless. In the mornings, he would wait to leave for work until the grandkids were dropped off and he could give hugs. He never turned down an opportunity to get the kids from school and wouldn’t hesitate to leave work early for a chance to spend extra time with them. Summertime with Papa was their favorite. It meant trips to the park, swimming in the pool, water balloon fights, and a never-ending supply of popsicles. His love extended beyond family. He wasn’t just a papa to his grandkids, he was a papa to so many including every kid that came through Deb’s Daycare. He loved his nieces and nephews and they loved and admired him greatly.
Mike knew the value of hard work and wasn’t afraid to tackle anything. He was a man of great integrity. A jack of all trades with a charismatic personality and a smile that could light up a room. He loved people and had many great friends. Anywhere he went there was always someone he knew. If he was needed in any capacity, you never had to ask twice. He was forever the prankster and you were guaranteed fun when he was around. He left a lasting impression on all that knew him.
Mike enjoyed being involved in many groups and activities. He was active for many years in a four-wheel drive club, he’s bowled on a league for more than 20 years, a member of the ABATE Club, and a member of the HOG Club where he served as the safety officer. His love of cars led him to his most recent endeavor when he bought a Corvette in 2010 and joined the local Corvette club where he served as treasurer. He was never an idle man, and if he was home he was watching NASCAR or cheering on (or yelling at) the Minnesota Twins and Vikings.
Mike loved traveling and planning vacations. You could always find him studying a map or atlas. It was never surprising to learn he and Deb were going somewhere on a moment’s notice. There were dozens of bike trips and hundreds of road trips. Mike loved driving and could navigate anywhere. One bucket list item was he and Deb traveling to all 50 states, and just last year they completed that task with their visit to the last remaining state, South Carolina.
He will be deeply missed by his loving wife of 38 years, Debra Koch; his children Matt and Kristin (Lipp), Chris and Tanya (Riehl), and Shane and Lindsay (Ammon), all of Bismarck; his six precious grandchildren, Ellee, Bennett, Lainey, Londyn, Kimber, and Kaidence Koch; his mom, Margaret (Wald) Koch, Bismarck; his siblings, Pat (Lynette) Koch, Bismarck, Tom (Judy) Koch, Willow River, Minn., Geri (Steve) Reinert, Williams, Minn, Joe (Jamie) Koch, Aldie, Va., Kenny (Kelly) Koch, Thorn Hill, Tenn., and Mary (Richie) Aboody, Cambridge, Minn.; his father-in-law, Matthew Morrell; sister-in-law, Gail (Randy) Woodworth; brother-in-law, David Morrell, all of Bismarck; and numerous nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins, and so many dear friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Koch; brothers, Robert Scott and John Koch; his mother-in-law, Darlene Morrell; and brother-in-law, Terry Morrell.