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William Koch

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WILLIAM KOCH William R. Koch, 86, of Las Vegas, passed away Jan. 31, 2011. He was born in Riverside, Calif., Feb. 21, 1924, and spent his early years in southern California. In 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during his second year of college. After serving three years in the South Pacific during World War II, he returned to southern California, where he continued his education. He married Cherie U. Brickey in 1946. He moved with his family to Las Vegas in 1967, where he was to remain the rest of his life. He worked in financial areas. In 2004, he lost his wife, after 58 years of an exceptionally happy marriage. Theirs was a lifelong love affair. After losing her and after a suitable time, he married Dorothy Noriega. Dorothy was a friend of many years who had lost her husband a few months before he lost his wife. They were well-suited for each other and their union was a happy one. He is survived by his sister, Elsie Koch; four children, Richard (Sherie) Koch, Gretchen (Thomas) Lee, Robin Yoakum and Barrie (Larry) Drake, all of Las Vegas; 25 grandchildren; and 44 great-grandchildren. He took great joy in his grandchildren and spent many happy hours with them. As they grew to adults, he continued their relationships and often had lunch with many of them. As his progeny grew, he took pride in his great-grandchildren and spent time with them as well. He enjoyed international travel and was fortunate that both of his wives enjoyed it as well. He had visited 41 countries. Early in his marriage he and Cherie joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They both spent their lives in positions of service and leadership in the church. In 1973, he became involved in the then infant pistachio industry in California. As the industry grew, so did his involvement. For several years, he served as a director of Pistachio Producers of California, a processing and marketing company, before being elected chairman and chief executive officer, a position he held for 11 years. He was the chairman of Western Pistachio Association for six years, one of the industries two trade organizations. He was president of Madera Water District for 14 years and also served as a director of Cal Pure Pistachios. The family wishes to express their appreciation to his many friends for their love and prayers during his final illness. Viewing will be 9-10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, with services following, both at the LDS Chapel, 2275 E. Tropicana Ave. Burial will follow at Bunkers Memory Gardens Cemetery, 7251 W. Lone Mountain Road.
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