Father Ivor Koch, 86, a priest of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, and a native of What Cheer, died Oct. 18 in Wichita Falls, Texas, after a lengthy illness.
Fr. Koch was born to Fred Koch and Elsie Marie (Tancer) Koch on Nov. 5, 1930. He graduated from What Cheer Independent School in 1948 as valedictorian and attended Iowa State College and Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Although he was born into a Methodist family, Fr. Koch began attending Mass with a Catholic fraternity brother while in college. He converted to Catholicism in the 1950s.
He worked as a florist and served as mayor of What Cheer before entering Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis., at age 48. While at the seminary, he decided to become a priest for the Diocese of Fort Worth. He spent a year as a pastoral intern at Sacred Heart in Wichita Falls before his ordination there on June 16, 1984.
Fr. Koch served at several parishes in the Fort Worth Diocese, most recently at Sacred Heart Parish in Wichita Falls, where he served as pastor for 17 years.
For many years, Fr. Koch served as diocesan moderator of the regional chapter of the National Council of Catholic Women. He also served as a Knights of Columbus chaplain and as a member of the diocesan pastoral finance committee.
A funeral Mass was celebrated Oct. 25 at Sacred Heart Parish in Wichita Falls. Memorial donations can be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church Building Fund, 1501 9th St, Wichita Falls, TX 76301.