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.
Published in Orange County Register on Jan. 6, 2021.