Dennis G. Koch


LODI – Dad made it a practice to check the obits in several papers daily “just to make sure I’m not in them.” Well, Dad, today is your day!

Denny passed away peacefully after a long illness, surrounded by loved ones on Sept. 20. He was surely greeted by his two loyal companions, Max and Brady, who have been waiting a long time to play frisbee again with their favorite human.

Denny was born on July 8, 1944, and grew up on a beautiful farm south of Rochelle, the son of Irvin and Darleen Koch. It was on the farm that Dad learned the values of hard work, commitment, loyalty and steadfastness – traits that followed him throughout his life. The farm is also where he developed a love of driving around endlessly to look at the fields (in his later years, behind the wheel of his Camaro), an appreciation of weather and storms of all kinds and an insatiable August appetite for farm-fresh sweet corn on the cob. 

He graduated from Rochelle Township High School in 1962 and Spencerian Business College in Milwaukee in 1966. His work with the SS Kresge Company and Kimberly Clark took him to both coasts, but he eventually found himself back where he was meant to be, on his beloved family farm. He worked the rest of his life in agriculture, both farming and in sales. He greatly valued the relationships he built with colleagues throughout the Midwest.

Denny was fortunate to have two loves of his life. In 1974, he married Linda Thomason and they started their life together raising Jeni and Julie on the farm. After Linda’s death in 1979, Denny took on the responsibility of raising the girls – committed, loyal, steadfast. In 1983, Denny and Roxy began their 39 happy years together – raising kids and grandkids, traveling around the country, and enjoying movies, laughter, and lots of good food (including driving two hours to Dad’s favorite place for fried chicken!)

If it was Tuesday, you’d find Denny at the movie theater with a big tub of popcorn and a box of Milk Duds, and then he’d head home to highlight the TV guide for his weekly viewing pleasure. He was not picky – he was happy when watching his favorite old-time Western, the latest summer blockbuster, scary thrillers, documentaries of every sort, or hours of anything having to do with cars or planes.  You’d want to check to make sure everything was appropriate for the grandkids, but Denny didn’t care. He never missed the daily paper, the nightly news, or arguing the politics inside them with his daughters.

“The need for speed” was always present in Denny. Whether it was flying his beloved Cessna over the fields of central Illinois, dumping his kids off the tube behind his boat, Tsunami, in Lake Shelbyville, or driving his Camaro with the top down through the winding roads of Wisconsin, Denny loved to be on the move – even if he had a bit of a lead foot. 

Denny was a self-proclaimed lover of all animals, and rarely had a dry eye when speaking of his dearly-loved and much-missed pups or any animal hurt or neglected. While his dogs held a very special place in his heart, he gained much joy from being the caretaker of the Koch Backyard Aviary welcoming *most* birds into the constantly growing community of feeders and birdhouses that he lovingly tended.

Denny is survived, lovingly remembered, and greatly missed by his wife, Roxy; his daughters, Jeni (Sean) Berthold and Julie Koch; sons, Mark (Jenni) Wehrmann and Dan (Stephanie) Wehrmann; grandchildren, Riley, Chayton, Sarah, Rebecca, Henry and Lucy; and granddogs, Hudson and Riggins. He was predeceased by his parents; his wife, Linda; and of course, Max and Brady.

Denny’s family would like to send many thanks and much love to Dr. James Heun and the nursing staff at Sauk Prairie Clinics and Hospital for their loving care and kindness over the years.

Please join us to remember Denny and celebrate his sass, fun, and love at GUNDERSON WEST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 7435 University Ave., Middleton, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Columbia County Humane Society.

Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.

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