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John Koch, Steel Structures Expert, Dies at 86
Posted by Tasha Weiss on April 26, 2012 at 2:48 PM.

w0025270-1_1715141.jpgJohn F. W. Koch, a highly respected structural engineer who stayed involved in AISC activities for more than two decades, passed away on April 13, 2012 at the age of 86. He served as Chairman of AISC’s Steel Structures Research Committee from 1976 to 1980.


Koch was born on December 16, 1925. He served in the U.S. Military in the European Theater from 1944 to 1946. In 1950, he graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.


He started his engineering career at Swift & Company in Chicago, then spent four years in Paducah, Ky. with F.H. McGraw Construction Company before returning to his hometown of Evansville, Ind. to work for International Steel Company, where he stayed for 31 years. His first structural design upon returning home was the steel framing for the original Roberts Stadium. After that, he worked for SISTEEL for four years before managing his own consulting firm for several years. He retired from Hodge Structural Engineering in Evansville.


Koch served on many boards, engineering-related and otherwise, including: Wesselman Nature Center; Historic Preservation Society; Girl Scouts; Evansville ARC; Horizon Homes Retirement Village; National Society of Professional Engineers; and American Society of Professional Engineers. He served as president for several organizations, including: Indiana Society of Professional Engineering; Evansville Day School; Lutheran School Board; Trinity Lutheran School; Purdue Alumni Association; Purdue Presidents Council; and Evansville Purdue Club.


He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Wanda “Luke” Koch; son, John F.W. Koch II; daughter, Amy Jo Badger; brother, William B. Koch; sisters Barbara Stahlschmidt and Helen Klamer; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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