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Richard J. Koch Jr.


1933 - 2019
Richard J. Koch Jr. Obituary
Koch, Richard J., Jr.
August 25, 1933 - October 4, 2019
Richard J. (Dick) Koch, Jr., 86, of Venice, FL died on October 4, 2019 due to complications of pulmonary fibrosis. He was born August 25, 1933 to Richard J. and Geraldine Tschampion Koch of Mamaroneck. N.Y. Dick was a 1951 graduate of Mamaroneck High School where he was captain of the 1950 undefeated football team, voted most popular in his class, and years later inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. He attended Harvard where he graduated in 1955 with a degree in Economics and a commission in the Navy through the NROTC program. He played on the Harvard football team and was intramural heavyweight boxing champion his junior year. Dick served 21 years in the Navy as a naval aviator flying 15 different models of aircraft, most of his flight time in all-weather jet fighters, and retiring with the rank of Commander. He logged carrier landings on eight different aircraft carriers. Highlights of his Navy career include: Commanding Officer of Training Squadron 4 in Pensacola, Air Officer (Air Boss) on USS America (CVA-66), staff tours with the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic as well as with the Chief of Naval Operations, and a front row seat for both the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban missile crisis while based with a fighter squadron in Key West. He was deployed to the Gulf of Tonkin twice and was aboard the USS Forrestal off Vietnam on July 29, 1967 when it sustained the horrific explosions and fires that took the lives of 134 shipmates. He was a member of the 5-man team that was awarded the Forrestal Trophy for winning the Navy Top Gun Missile Competition in 1959. He attended the Naval War College, obtained a Master's degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and an MBA from Old Dominion University.
Upon his retirement from naval service in 1976, Dick founded Commonwealth Paper Company in Virginia Beach, VA which was transferred in 2012 to his son, Richard. He retired to Florida as a full-time resident in 2002.
Dick started sailboat racing at an early age, first in International 110's on Long Island Sound and later in Hobie 16's on Chesapeake Bay and environs. In 1983, with his son Tim as crew, he won the annual 26-mile Low Rent Regatta over 99 competing Hobie 16's. He was an avid golfer starting with his days as a caddy at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck and maintaining a low handicap until he was forced to give up the game due to declining health. He had two holes-in-one during his lifetime and shot his age numerous times as he got on in years.
Dick is survived by his longtime, loving companion, Rita Anne Toole, four sons – Richard J. III (Rick) and his wife Kristina of Virginia Beach, VA, Theodore V. (Ted) and his wife Carolyn of Alexandria, VA, Daniel R. (Dan) and his wife Heather of Greenville, NC, Timothy A. (Tim) and his wife Dina of Alexandria, VA and eight grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Elisabeth (Betty) Baker of Melbourne, FL and his brother James P. Koch of Towson, MD.
Services will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date.
For online condolences, please visit www.wiegandbrothers.com
Published in Herald Tribune from Oct. 7 to Oct. 8, 2019
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