John Anthony Koch

 John Anthony Koch, age 39, of Newcastle, Nebraska died on Saturday, June 11, 2022 amongst family and friends due to an accident while breaking a horse.

Mass of Christian Burial is 10:30 AM, on Thursday, June 16, 2022 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Newcastle, NE with Reverend Jim Kramper officiating.  Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Newcastle.  Visitation is from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, on Wednesday, June 15 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church with a vigil service at 7:00 PM with Rev. David Liewer officiating.  Visitation will continue one hour prior to the funeral at the church.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home in Hartington, NE.

The Vigil Service and Funeral will be livestreamed at  Overflow crowd will be directed to the Newcastle School Gym both days to view the livestream service. To send an online message to the family, please visit

 The family would prefer memorials be directed to the Newcastle Fire Department or to the Newcastle’s Community Club.

Pallbearers will be:  Ray Stanley, Matt Hascke, Zachary Korth, Beau Bensen, DJ Blatchford, and Daryl Johannsen.  Honorary Pallbearers will be his sister, Laura, and brothers:  Steve, Russ, Ken, Matt, Bill, Jim, and David.

John Anthony Koch was born September 26, 1982, delivered by his dad in the farm house in which he grew up SW of Newcastle.  He attended Newcastle Public School Kindergarten through Second Grade and attended Wynot Public Schools in Wynot, Nebraska, grades three through his Senior year, graduating from Wynot in May 2001.  After high school graduation he attended Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa for one year then transferring to Wayne State College graduating in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Safety and Industrial Tec.  During college at Wayne, he began working part-time for Phillips Kiln as a Maintenance Tec in South Sioux City, NE and upon graduation was offered full-time employment.  During college he was a Rugby player and enjoyed time with his team mates.  After a few years of employment, Phillips changed ownership, so he began working for SBI out of Waterbury, NE.  To devote more time to his family, he left them and started work as a Maintenance Tec of Special Operations at Siouxland Ethanol, where he worked until his death.  His dream was to become a rancher. He had started his cow herd, had his horses and was very close to fulfilling that dream.

John was an avid businessman, inventor, craftsman, horseman, and musician.  He definitely loved the outdoors and was ready for adventure and a good fishing trip.  He purchased old run-down business buildings and made them into unique places that served him well for his two bar/restaurant businesses.  He cherished his faith, always worked hard, was a loving and devoted father and an unselfish kind-hearted friend to many.  He was always ready to lend a helping hand.  A quote from one of his friends:  “John Koch you were a giver of life….you brought joy and life out of everyone around you! You were my greatest friend and we were inseparable all through high school. We have memories that last a lifetime and stories of things we did, things we shouldn’t have done, and everything in between. Words can’t really explain how much you meant to me and how special our times were!”  Another friend also described him well:  “I met John at a Teens Encounter Christ weekend and he was our Silent Leader.  What he said to me then, changed my life forever and made me the man I am today”.

John was a member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church and its choir.  He and his brother Dave sang the Ave Maria for many funerals and weddings, including their dad’s.  He enjoyed playing his guitar and having a song-fest with others.  More than anything, he loved his family, especially his two children, Sawyer and Ty.  They meant everything to him.  He was an avid cook, always making sure his children had wholesome meals and snacks.

Survivors include a daughter, Sawyer Michelle Koch; a son, Ty Anthony Koch; his mother, Carol Koch of Newcastle; a sister, Laura Murphy of Vermillion, SD, brothers:  Steven of  Coleridge, NE, Russ and Sara of Newcastle, NE, Kenneth of Big Lake, MN, Matthew and fiancée Laura of Cozad, NE, William and Gina of Newcastle, NE, James and Stephanie of Laurel, NE, and David and Elizabeth (Liz) of Persia, IA; Many Nephews, Nieces, great-nephews and nieces, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Gerald (Jerry) Koch; Maternal grandparents, Elmer and Ruth Cook; and Paternal grandparents, Martin and Marie Koch.

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19 response to "John Anthony Koch"

  1. By: Matthew Pearson Posted: June 13, 2022

    I pray for comfort and peace for you all as you grieve this loss. John was one of my favorite people to be around as he brought joy, adventure, and life to everyone around him. He will be missed tremendously. May the peace of Christ and the hope of the resurrection be with you all.

  2. By: Darlene Stanage Posted: June 13, 2022

    My heart is breaking for your family and I am so incredibly sad. John was one of the absolute best and was one of my favorite people in school. His smile and could light up any room. He’s singing with the angels now , may all the great memories of him bring your family peace and strength during this time.

  3. By: Bonnie Lentz Posted: June 13, 2022

    Our thoughts and Prayers are with John’s family and friends 🙏 😇
    His kids will be blessed with an amazing support system that will keep his memory alive.

  4. By: Jim & Colleen Decker Posted: June 13, 2022

    So sorry for your loss. John was a neat guy. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. By: Mollie Anderson Posted: June 13, 2022

    My thoughts and prayers for Carol and her wonderful family. John brought a lot of Joy and pride to his parents . His departure from this earth was way to soon but his mark on this earth during his life was one of great accomplishments. His was an entrepreneur a talented singer musician horseman and father it is hard to make any sense of it all . I pray that this families love for each other will carry them through this difficult time that there arms will surround each other with love at this difficult time. I pray that the faithThat they and will see each other again is some solace. All of you relatives love you and the Millie’s will be here if we can do anything for you . Life will be different for sure but it must go on John would want it to he was all about life.

  6. By: Ivette Bender Posted: June 14, 2022

    We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Carol and her family with the loss of John. Please
    know we are thinking of you and praying for comfort.

  7. By: Angie Kronaizl (Moser) Posted: June 14, 2022

    My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. I am especially praying for Ty and Sawyer during this time. May God be with them and may God help all those effected by the loss of John to heal and be content that John is in a better place. I know John is smiling down on you all.

  8. By: Sarah (Packard) Kuhnert Posted: June 14, 2022

    To John’s family I am so sorry for your loss. I spent time with him in my high school and early college years and I will never forget his absolute joy for life. You never knew what adventures were to be found with him and the rest of the Newcastle/Ponca crew. In honor of John and his love of living to the fullest today I took the day off work to enjoy time with my kids. I sang at the top of my lungs to songs in my car and I smiled just as big as I remember his smile. I’m gonna try to live a little bigger just like he always did.

  9. By: Clarice (Olander) Emswiler Posted: June 15, 2022

    My heart is sad for you all. Sending prayers and knowing he is welcomed into loving arms.

  10. By: Kenneth Wiedenfeld Posted: June 15, 2022

    Thoughts and prayers to the John Koch family

  11. By: Stan Hoekstra Posted: June 15, 2022

    Thoughts and prayers to the John Koch family. John provided lots of great memories from the days a TEC

  12. By: Joseph Olander Posted: June 15, 2022

    Carol & Family. So sorry for your loss.

  13. By: Alan & Julie (Hamilton) De Blauw Posted: June 15, 2022

    Our prayers go out to Carol & the rest of John’s family. May you find comfort & healing during this difficult time.

  14. By: Shawn and April McArthur Posted: June 15, 2022

    My husband and John were co-workers at Phillips Kiln. My husband really respected and liked John quite a lot and I know he was bummed when John quit. We all went to lunch once shorty before he left the company. I only met John that once, but we all hit it off so well none of us were ready to leave the restaurant. Lol He was a great guy and we extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

  15. By: Cali Broders Posted: June 16, 2022

    I don’t even know where to start with all the ways I admire and love John. I was always so impressed to hear him talk of projects he was working on, or ideas he had for the future. His ambition and joy in life were so inspiring. His heart was pure gold and light beamed from him. My life was surely made better by knowing Johnny.
    Prayers of comfort and healing for his family and everyone who loved him.

  16. By: Ann Coughlin Mlnarik Posted: June 16, 2022

    John sang the Ave Maria in Latin at our moms funeral. A lovelyI memory I will never forget. She would have loved it. My Dad died when I was very young. Keeping the memory of him alive, even now a 67, I like too hear about about him. Surround yourselves in God’s promise of eternity

  17. By: Gabe and Sarah Fejfar Posted: June 16, 2022

    It’s so hard to read this page and not cry, I sincerely wish for strength for his fiance, children, and everyone else grieving at this time of loss. We were good friends with John in college, he always had a smile on his face, and always lit up the room he was in. It’s hard to see a great life cut short. Deepest condolences, our thoughts are with you all.
    The Fejfars

  18. By: Jess Rohan Posted: June 16, 2022

    John sang When Irish ☘️ Eyes are Smilin at my Grandmothers funeral- he made a church full of irish ☘️ eyes smile that day.- and an equal number cry when you left this world too soon. i know you were greeted by many angels as you went through the gates- look out for us down here. RIP

  19. By: Greg Vander Weil Posted: June 20, 2022

    John was one of the most memorable students my wife, Zoe, and I had the pleasure to teach here at Wayne State College.

    We had stayed in touch and most recently John talked about adding a teaching degree and he would have been a Great teacher with all his life experiences.

    All I can say is that faith, family and friends get us through these life challenges and John had all three, and his family and many friends will cherish having know John.

    Please let me know what I and the Wayne State College family can do to support you folks in these tough times.

    God Bless, Greg Vander Weil

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