James Franklin Koch died peacefully in hospice at the VA Palo Alto Hospital on October 2, 2012.
Jim was born in Florence, Colorado on January 25, 1930 to Frank William Koch and Dorothy Evelyn Sammons Koch. He and his sister Eva June were adopted by their uncle and aunt George and Virgie Koch at an early age and considered the pair their mom and dad.
Jim graduated from Salida High School in Colorado in 1948 and lived on and off his family’s cattle ranch in Hillside, Colorado before joining the Navy after graduation. His rank was Air Controlman 3rd Class. He was assigned to the US Naval Air Station, Moffett Field where he earned his pilot’s license and certification as an Air Traffic Control Tower Operator. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1952.
Mr. Koch married his first wife Aleese Kay Boatwright in 1953 and settled in Los Altos to raise his two sons. He was a member of the Palo Alto Elks Club and Los Altos Masonic Temple. Jim worked as an estimator, superintendent and designer before becoming a licensed general contractor and owner of Haneberg-Koch Inc. in 1963. The company built the Los Altos Police Department, Reid-Hillview Airport Terminal and many large commercial buildings and R&D concrete tilt-ups throughout the Bay Area. He wed Jacqueline Doulet in 1980 and lived in Los Altos while spending summers on the ranch in Colorado or traveling to France where Jackie has family.
A much loved man who will be greatly missed, Jim is survived by his wife Jackie, his sons Richard F. Koch and James A. Koch and their wives Barbara and Evangeline, his sister Eva Fithian, grandchildren Tasso, Alison, John, Christian, and Braden, brother-in-law Charles Fithian, sister-in-law, Marie Young, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial gathering on Friday, October 26th at 1:30 pm in the Los Altos Youth Center (LAYC), 1 North San Antonio Road. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations on Jim’s behalf to the VA Hospice Care Center, 3801 Miranda Avenue 100-4A, Palo Alto, CA 94304.