Richard B. Koch
Richard B. Koch, 80, of Crosslake, died Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at his home.
As a young man, Rick earned his Eagle Scout award at the age of 16 from Troop 54 in Wilmington, Del. He later spent several years as scoutmaster of that troop, and he was known for removing any “pogey bait” (candy) from scouts’ packs prior to camping trips. In 1953, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, and in 1957, he was honorably discharged as a sergeant. While living in Delaware, Rick managed the greenhouse complex for Lamont DuPont and Pamela Copeland’s estate Mt. Cuba. He won numerous awards at the Philadelphia Flower Show exhibiting on behalf of the Copelands.
When the family moved to Crosslake in 1977, Rick and his wife, Nancy, established and operated the NorthWedge Greenhouse. Rick served on the Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation board and spent several years with the Crosslake City Road Commission. Rick was also the co-founder of the Crow Wing County Dive and Rescue Team. He attended the Crosslake Evangelical Free Church where he served terms as the chairman of the board and treasurer.
Rick was always happiest when he could be outdoors, so he enjoyed backpacking, canoeing, horseback riding, scuba diving, snowmobiling and riding his Harley. Waterfowl carving was his winter hobby and many people were fortunate to receive one of his works of art.
He will always be remembered for his towering pit fires, which his friends claimed could be seen for miles, and his understated humor that always kept the atmosphere on the lighter side. Yet, he instinctively knew when someone was in need, and he could always be counted on during any kind of crisis. Rick was a gentle and godly man known to many in the community for his behind-the-scenes deeds.
A dedicated father, Rick encouraged his children, Eric and Britta, to learn new skills and stood behind their choices. Rick and Nancy knew each other for 61 years, and they were married for 55 years during which he was a loyal, faithful and supportive husband no matter what zany idea Nancy had in mind.
Richard is survived by his wife, Nancy; his two children, Eric of Crosslake and Britta of Duluth; three grandchildren, Amy, Diana and Chandra; and three great-grandchildren.
While Rick loved nothing more than growing flowers and enjoying their beauty, he always said flowers were for the living! So, the family requests no flowers but memorial gifts can be made to the Crosslake Evangelical Church or a no-kill animal shelter. A celebration of life service will be held Feb. 1, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the Crosslake Evangelical Free Church.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Brenny Funeral Chapel in Crosslake, Minn.