27 Aug Clifford Koch Memorial Community Fund
Clifford Koch was born August 26, 1899 and 80 years later, Clifford passed from this life to the next on August 28th, 1979. In his 80 years on earth, he lived the life of an ordinary man, a simple life. Yet, in his unassuming way, he created his legacy, He never sought thanks; he never sought recognition; he never sought accolades. He only wanted to leave the world a better place.
Throughout his life, he worked many jobs, often two or three at the same time. Those he cherished the most involved farming and children. He was once a school “hack” driver while he farmed and worked at Armor Creamery. Later, he fulfilled his dream of becoming a teacher. He began teaching before one needed a college education to do so. Knowing the importance of education, he graduated from Manchester College with his bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the age of 62 (while teaching and coaching and farming).
He loved sports, any kind of sports, but especially basketball and baseball. While teaching 5th and 6th grades, he also coached junior high basketball. He was a founding member of the Rochester Junior Girls Softball League also serving as a coach for the Bradway Bombers. Later, he also coached Zimmerman’s Zephyrs in the Rochester Senior Girls Softball League (once catching a line drive to his eye while standing at third base). His priority as a coach was to teach the basics and to allow kids to have fun. Winning was a bonus, but it did not take precedence over having a good time and learning something along the way…always the teacher.
He was also a supporter of 4-H and enjoyed seeing young people accomplish their goals in the beef arena as well as with other projects. He could always be found at the beef barn and was a fixture at the beef shows and sales. As usual, his advice was, “Do your best.”
While not a wealthy man, he is remembered fondly for freely giving his time to things he found important, especially nurturing and helping to develop the minds and character of young people in the community.
Clifford Koch left his mark in the hearts of those with whom he worked or coached or supported. His support never wavered as he backed local athletes involved in summer sports or in interscholastic games. His presence at the fair encouraged not only his own children, but others as well—a shy smile, a wave, a nod, and an everlasting memory of one who modestly cheered for kids. For those who knew him, his legacy of perseverance, hard work, education, kindness, and concern for youth and community will be long remembered.