FORDYCE — Cletus L. Koch, 88, Fordyce, died Oct. 16, 2011, at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, Yankton, S.D.
Visitation and a rosary were Oct. 19 at the Wintz Funeral Home, Hartington, followed that evening by a Vigil Service at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Fordyce. Visitation continued Thursday at church one hour prior to services.
Mass of Christian Burial was Oct. 20 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Fordyce, with the Rev. David Fulton officiating. Burial was in St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Fordyce, with military graveside rites by the Hartington VFW Post #5283.
Pallbearers were Cletus’s grandsons, David Kollars, Lucas Lauer, Tom Cobler Jr., Paul Cobler, Chad Koch, Eric Koch and Shawn Koch.
Honorary pallbearers were his granddaughters and great-grandchildren.
Cletus Leo Koch was born July 27, 1923, in Fordyce, to Ado H. and Josephine (Langferman) Koch. He grew up on the family homestead northeast of Fordyce. Cletus served in the U.S. Navy during WWII from Feb. 22, 1945-July 15, 1946, and received the Victory Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, and the Phillipine Liberation Medal. He married Beverly Ann Stukas Oct. 27, 1948, in Fordyce. Beverly died Sept. 25, 2000, at the age of 69. Cletus continued to live on the farm until moving to Autumn Winds in September 2008.
Cletus did custom combining and custom corn shelling for over 55 years. Harvest time was his favorite time of year.
Cletus enjoyed going to the casinos and made a trip to Las Vegas at the age of 86. He loved to fish at Chalk Rock Lake with his son, Dennis. Cletus’s grandchildren were very special to him as were many other children, family or not.
He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Fordyce, and a member of the Hartington VFW Post #5283.
Cletus is survived by four children and their spouses, Victoria and Larry Larson, Viborg, S.D.; Dennis and Pam Koch, Fordyce; Barb and Tom Cobler, Hartington; Donna and Bill Lauer, Hartington; 14 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; one brother, Tony, and wife, Joan Koch, South Sioux City; five sisters, Hildagarde Anderson, South Sioux City; Hillaria Dickes, South Sioux City; Lorraine Derby, South Sioux City; Doris Ann Pagaen, South Sioux City; and Sylvia Kingstead, Omaha.
Cletus was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Beverly, in 2000; infant son, George; special uncles, George and Othmer; aunt, Lucy; and five brothers-in-law.