Clemens “Clem” Paul Koch, 79, Palmyra, Mo., passed away at 2:34 a.m., Tuesday, April 11, 2023, at University Hospital in Columbia, Mo.
Clem was born June 5, 1943, in Warrensburg, Mo., to Rev. Clinton and Minerva Lohmann Koch. He was married to Janelle Donelson on July 9, 1966, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in West Ely, Mo.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Janelle Koch; his children, Joelle Fohey (Derek), Palmyra; Alan Koch (Kim), Bethany, Mo.; and Danielle O’Donnell (Eric), Blue Springs, Mo.; brothers, Dennis Koch (Linda), Cottonwood Falls, Kan.; Neal Koch (Pat), Utica, Neb.; and Mark Koch (Kathy), New Haven, Mo.; sister, Donna Meyer (Steve), New Haven; grandchildren, Drake and Delanie Fohey, Kailyn and Peyton O’Donnell, Kaden and Karley Koch; members of the Jan Donelson family and John Scholl family; numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
Clem was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Larry Koch.
During the many years of his career, he worked as a machinist for Manchester Tank in Quincy, Ill., for Colt Industries/ Quincy Compressor and as an insurance agent for Aid Association for Lutherans.
He was a hardworking man who put in long hours to provide for his family. Clem was a pillar of the community, volunteering and joining in to help bring recycling to Palmyra, serving as an election judge, and member of both the Lions Club, and the Jaycees.
He loved time spent volunteering with the Junior High Christians Club. In 1983, Clem and Janelle were national finalists for the Lutheran Schools Parent Teacher League.
A dedicated father and grandfather, Clem enjoyed coaching, supporting and attending his family’s little league games. He relished teaching them the values his parents taught him.
Another favorite pastime was running trot lines with his kids and grandkids. There were many nights spent with his Blue Tick hounds raccoon hunting, or early mornings spent in the woods enjoying the quiet solitude and sounds of critters, while hoping for a big buck or a big gobbler.
Clem looked forward to spring every year to begin planting his garden, looking forward to the moment he could pick his tomatoes and strawberries.
He was quick-witted and had the most infectious laugh that could bring a smile to anyone’s face. Clem and his family took numerous trips over the years, enjoying the landscapes of Alaska, Hawaii, the North Atlantic States, Canada and even the Panama Canal.
His love of the Lord and service to his church were very important to Clem. He served his church body as a deacon, church officer, as a delegate at convention for LCMS, and in any other way he could. Clem enjoyed singing in the church choir and loved the old hymns of praise.
Clem was a proud member of the United States National Guard.
He was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in West Ely, Mo. He served for many years as treasurer for the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 15, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in West Ely. Pastor Scott Salo will officiate. Burial with full military honors by American Legion Post #174 Boots-Dickson will follow at Immanuel Cemetery in West Ely.
Pallbearers will be Drake Fohey, Kaden Koch, Peyton O’Donnell, Derek Fohey, Eric O’Donnell, Neal Koch, Mark Koch and Steve Meyer.
Honorary pallbearers will be Dennis Koch, Robert Peiter, Jan Donelson, John Scholl and Jim Cornelius.
Friends and family are invited to Clem’s Life Celebration at a visitation that will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, April 14, at Lewis Brothers Funeral Chapel in Palmyra.
Memorials may be made to the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery.
Online condolences may be shared, and video tribute viewed at www.LewisBrothersFuneralChapel.com.