The funeral Mass for Father Donald J. Koch will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, at St. Raphael the Archangel Church in St. Louis. Visitation will be held at 9 a.m. before Mass at the church.
Father Koch died Oct. 24 at Nazareth Living Center. He was 89 and had been a priest for almost 60 years. Born April 8, 1929, in St. Louis, he was baptized at St. Agatha Parish in St. Louis. After graduation from Kenrick Seminary in 1960, he was ordained a priest by then-Archbishop Joseph E. Ritter on April 2, 1960.
In his first assignment, he was a part-time teacher at Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis, while serving as assistant pastor at St. Thomas More Parish in Bel-Ridge. He served in 1967-68 with the archdiocesan Latin American Mission, then returned to St. Louis as associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc Parish for one year. In 1969, he moved to Annunciation Parish in Webster Groves, and after four years, he served for a year as associate pastor at St. Cletus Parish in St. Charles. He served five years as associate pastor of North American Martyrs Parish in Florissant, and in 1979, he became pastor at St. James Parish in Potosi.
In 1981, Father Koch was appointed full-time chaplain at Incarnate Word Hospital in St. Louis and served in that role for 14 years. He also was part-time as associate pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in St. Louis (1981-91) and priest in residence at Our Lady of Providence Parish in Crestwood (1991-95). After a sabbatical, he was senior associate pastor at Mary Queen of the Universe in Lemay.
After a year, he relocated to Florida in 1996, was granted faculties in the Diocese of Venice, Fla., and served at Epiphany Cathedral Parish in Venice. He returned briefly to the archdiocese in 1999, then returned to Del Ray, Fla., where he served before being retiring in 2004. In retirement, Father Koch resided and exercised priestly ministry in parishes through the country.
He returned to St. Louis in August to reside at Nazareth.