Ernest Koch
1926 - 2020
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Ernest Albert Koch passed away peacefully on December 26, 2020, at Freedom Village, in Lake Forest California, at age 94. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Barbara, 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren, plus one in heaven and one making his debut in May. Ernie was born the first child of Otto and Anna Koch on November 18, 1926 on the family "farm" in the northwest corner of Pasadena. He had a wonderful childhood playing with family and friends on the 5 acres. He saw his grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles most every day. His younger brother Len passed 16 years ago of ALS, but Ernie is survived by his baby sister Carol (9 years younger) who still lives in Pasadena. After serving in the Navy at the close of WWII, while in college, he met Barbara at a club meeting in November 1946 and they were married a little over a year later in March 1948. She was the great love of his life. Their first child, Sally, was born a week after Ernie graduated with a degree in Biology from UCLA in June of 1950. Cathy (1952) and Kenny (1956) followed. By 1960 they had moved to Fullerton where Ernie taught high school biology for over 30 years; first at Fullerton High, and later at Troy High School. He headed the science department and was loved by his students. Ernie retired from teaching in 1985, and in 1988 they moved from Fullerton to a new home overlooking the ocean in San Clemente. They lived in this home for 28 years until moving to Freedom Village. There were many recurring themes in Ernie's life, but family always came first. He loved gardening, music and meeting new people. Ernie's faith was central to his life, loving God and loving others. He enjoyed worshiping alongside Barbie at the local Presbyterian church in Fullerton and San Clemente. He confidently expressed his faith in Jesus as his Savior. It's hard to summarize a life well lived, except to say "well done my good and faithful servant". A celebration of Ernie's life will be held when it is safe to do so.


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Published in Orange County Register on Jan. 6, 2021.
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14 entries
January 15, 2021
My condolences to Ernest Koch's family, friends, and former students. "Mr. Koch," as we knew him at FUHS (Class of '65) was one of the most influential men in my life. He instilled respect and curiosity for the natural world that led me to select UCSD to study marine biology. He made learning fun and exciting. He was the faculty advisor for the Biology Club, and took us on a tide pooling field trip that remains a treasured memory.
Rick Casault
Student
January 12, 2021
Ernie Koch was one of my favorite teachers of all time! I used to stay after school at Troy and have long philosophical exchanges during those hours. He was always funny and patient and a marvelous teacher making biology interesting and enjoyable! He was always supportive and down to earth. He was so easy to talk to. I’m sure he was loved by many and will be sadly missed.
Kathy McGavran Adamcik
Student
January 11, 2021
A terrific teacher who instilled in me a curiosity that I used in my career as cancer researcher.
Carol Oborn
Student
January 11, 2021
He was my biology teacher at Troy HS. He was not only an awesome teacher, but he was soo kind to his students. Thank you Mr. Koch. May you Rest In Peace.
Ann Fisher Adler
Student
January 11, 2021
Mr. Koch was a good teacher and fine friend to my father, Glenn Robb. My dad admired him as a co-worker, teacher and friend as they taught together at Troy High since it started in the sixties. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Karen Ritch
Friend
January 11, 2021
We never talked particularly about Jesus, but I am totally unsurprised to discover, 46 years later, that dear, dear "Mr. Koch" was a lover of Jesus like his former student (me!). Yes, we all loved his humor and his caring... Sophomore Biology and a lot of joy... And Jesus... "Well done, good and faithful servant"...
Jim Tilley
Student
January 10, 2021
R.I.P. my good friend, Ernie. You were a beacon of light in the teaching profession. You were also looked upon as a mentor for many of the young teachers at Troy, I was one of them. I am proud to have known you and I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Nick Fuscardo
Coworker
January 10, 2021
Mr. Koch was a wonderful teacher and person. I think he was the cheeriest person at Troy High School; perhaps the cheeriest I've ever known. For certain, heaven is brighter! I look forward to seeing him again. May the Lord bless and comfort his family.
Joan C Kwasiborski
January 10, 2021
May the Lord bless and comfort his family.
Joan C Kwasiborski
January 10, 2021
Mr. Koch was a respected and loved teacher at Troy High School. There are many who loved him and his classes. He will be remembered by all those who were lucky enough to know him. Truly his was a life well-lived.
Tracy Tubbs Taylor
Student
January 10, 2021
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Grace Logan
Friend
January 10, 2021
An amazing teacher. I loved biology at Troy with Mr. Koch. Class of ‘74
Dawn Gant
Student
January 10, 2021
One of my older Fullerton pals said Mr. Koch's Troy High biology class was a hoot and made biology very interesting. So I made sure I got him as my teacher. I graduated in 1969 and still remember him as one of my favorite teachers.
Steven Cirone
Student
January 10, 2021
Mr. Koch was an outstanding Instructor at Troy High School in Fullerton, CA. I had the privilege of being one of his students in the late 60's. He taught biology with passion and also shared valuable insights of life lessons. A wonderful man who will be missed by many.
Deanna Sprinkel
Student
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