David V. Koch, 78, of Carbondale, Formerly of Highland, passed away 9:45 p.m., Thursday, December 31, 2015, in Memorial Hospital of Carbondale, with his wife and children at his side.
David was born February 19, 1937, in Highland, Illinois, son of Victor Hugo Koch and Eunice Matter Koch. He graduated from Highland High School in 1955.
David attended college at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and journalism in 1959. David began his professional career as a reporter and columnist for the Dayton Journal Herald.
David came to Carbondale in the early 1960s as part of a team of newspaper professionals to manage and guide the transition of the campus newspaper to a daily paper. While in Carbondale, David received a master’s degree in English from Southern Illinois University. He then taught English for several years at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. David returned to Carbondale in 1970, joining the faculty of Morris Library as Rare Books Librarian. In 1980, David became Director (and later, Associate Dean) of the Special Collections Research Center, retiring in 2005.
As Director of Special Collections, David nurtured both the collections and the researchers. He was a strong advocate and leader in the transition of material to computer access. David encouraged the growth of the Southern Illinois local history collections. Other significant collections which grew under his watch include the Irish Literary Renaissance, the Ralph E. McCoy Freedom of the Press collection, the Twentieth Century Philosophy collections (especially the Open Court Press), and books, manuscripts, and other material of the Expatriate era between the world wars, especially that of Kay Boyle, who was also an academic research interest of his.
David is survived by his wife, Loretta Koch, whom he married on August 25, 1979, in New Harmony, Indiana; his children John (Jean) Koch, Victor Koch, and Elizabeth Koch, and grandchildren Jeremy Koch and Brittany (Matthew) Blaise. Also surviving are his sisters, Carol McCarty and Susan Newsom; John’s mother, Noel Vaughn, and Victor’s mother, Carolyn Koch.
David was preceded in death by his parents and brothers-in-law, Robert McCarty and Floyd Newsom.
Graveside funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 in Highland City Cemetery, Highland.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Earthwatch Institute (114 Western Avenue, Boston, MA 02134), the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, St. Francis CARE Animal Shelter, or the Faith United Methodist Church in Vergennes.