Date of death: 2/12/2011

Saint Meinrad Class: O 1963

Msgr. Koch, a priest of the Evansville Diocese, passed away at his home.He was “a very gentle, kind, caring, very pastoral man,” said Providence Sister Nancy Reynolds. She worked with him in the tribunal during the 1970s and 1980s. Msgr. Koch devoted his entire priestly life to ministry in the tribunal, while also celebrating Mass and the sacraments as part of parish life.He was always “very respectful and compassionate with people as he went through the process of [marriage] annulment with them,” said Ursuline Sister Lynn Jarrell, who also worked in the tribunal during the 1980s.Msgr. Koch was born Sept. 4, 1937. After completion of theology studies at Saint Meinrad Seminary and in Innsbruck, Austria, he was ordained a priest March 30, 1963. After receiving his licentiate in canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., he returned to Evansville to serve as a notary in the diocesan tribunal. Over the years, Msgr. Koch resided at parishes in the area, including St. Theresa, Nativity, Good Shepherd, St. Mary, St. Boniface and Christ the King, all in Evansville, and at St. Matthew in Mount Vernon.Early in his ministry he was named assistant Chancellor of the Diocese of Evansville and Secretary of the Tribunal. He continued to take on additional responsibilities in the tribunal, and was named Judicial Vicar by Bishop Francis R. Shea in 1973. He was named a Domestic Prelate, with the title, Rev. Msgr., in 1980. Msgr. Koch moved into Villa Maria, a retirement home for priests of the diocese, in 2001, and then resigned as Judicial Vicar in 2002. He continued to serve in the tribunal until full retirement in September 2004.Surviving are four sisters, Sr. Carlita Koch and Sr. Rosa Lee Koch, both of Ferdinand, IN, Martha and her husband Wayne Render, of Greenwood, IN and Karen Waller, of Evansville. Also nieces and nephews, Kathy and Chris Seybert, Julie and Scott Morgan, Carla and Zack Wilson, Chris and Lisa Render, Matt and Jill Render; and eleven great-nieces and great-nephews.The family requests memorial contributions to the St. Francis Healthcare Foundation (hospice) 5255 E. Stop 11 Road, Ste. 245, Unit 2, Box 2P, Indianapolis, IN 46237 or the Sisters of St. Benedict, 802 E. 10th Street, Ferdinand, IN 47532.Information obtained from the Evansville Courier & press on line,”