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Ed Koch, 81, passed away suddenly on Saturday, April 22, 2023, at his home in Mesquite, NV. He was born on Valentine’s Day 1942 in Pittsburgh, PA, to parents Edward B Koch II and Margaret McConnell. He married his childhood sweetheart Vivian Meckler in Pittsburgh in 1962 and was married for 60 years, and became parents to two children, Sheri and Eddie.
He attended Perry High School in Pittsburgh, and then relocated to Southern California to finish at Reseda High School. He made life-long friendships at both schools, becoming actively involved in their class reunions as an enthusiastic bi-coastal reunion attendee---often being part of planning committees and serving as a roving photographer.
He applied at Koppers, Inc. in Pittsburgh after graduation and was given a test which would have either put him in the mail room or the in-house print shop. His mechanical ability and “fast hands” made him a perfect match for the print shop where he was soon promoted to operating the presses.
At the young age of 21, Ed and Vivian relocated back to Southern California with their 3-month old daughter and began their life there. Three years later they welcomed their son. Ed found ample employment at various aerospace and defense facilities that needed in-house print shops, and then ventured out to start his own business ten years later in 1973. He enjoyed his trade and his customers; his suppliers became like family. Therefore, he worked for the rest of his life in that capacity, never really retiring.
His working/parenting years were spent running his home business which allowed him time for his favorite thing: coaching his son Eddie in little league, which he continued to do long after Eddie aged out. He loved mentoring young people and taught them more than baseball.
He lived in Southern California until age 70, when he and Vivian then relocated to their dream retirement community of Sun City Del Webb in Mesquite Nevada, (which they had stalked for years prior to see if it was a good fit for them.) It was. They often stated these ten years were among their happiest times.
Ed never left friends behind: he kept and carried them through every era because each relationship was special and valuable to him. He devoted his time to keeping in touch with each one, making them as high a priority as his business appointments.
Ed lived in every corner of his life, actively joining boards, committees, activities, and clubs. He believed in loyalty and inclusivity, but it was his sharp wit and mischievous perspective that attracted people to him and made him memorable in their minds. He cared about young people, his friends, his family, his neighbors, his community. He strived to be part of solutions by using his powers of observation, logic and good humor. He and Vivian became well-known for offering people their first welcome upon arrival at Sun City.
He had a deep curiosity and was a life-long learner, always soaking up history and current events. This made him a huge fan of Jeopardy, where he would sometimes prank his friends by watching the 5:30 broadcast and then ‘know all the answers’ at the 7:00 broadcast. Then he would impress himself by trying to recall every single question and answer before he went to bed…sometimes scoring 100%.
Upon retirement, his activity level only increased. He was extremely supportive of veterans and would volunteer with his good friend to station themselves during the coldest darkest shifts in the pre-dawn hours at the annual Thousand Flags Over Mesquite. He was designated as an honorary member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Chapter in Burbank, CA. He was block-captain, resurrected the trivia club, and served as club president of trivia, bocce and ping-pong. He often kept himself up at night trying to find ways to make things better for members. He and a friend helped to start the Virgin Valley Little League organization at the age of 70. He found incredible new friendships in his Del Webb community, and these friendships continue to surround his family in his absence.
He is survived by his wife Vivian, their two children Sheri Hoffmann and her husband James in California, and son Ed Koch in Washington State; two grandchildren Fred and Charlie. He is also survived by his sisters Judie, Kathy St. Germain, Leslie Foumberg, and brothers John Koch and Bobby Koch. He is survived by a multitude of deep and lasting friendships that sustained him throughout his life.
For those interested, his favorite charity was Veterans of Foreign Wars. https://www.vfw.org/
His Celebration of Life will be held in June at the Sun City Pioneer Center in Mesquite, NV. We invite family and friends to leave condolences or memories at www.starmortuary.com
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