Lowell Robert Koch, 85, of Lewistown Valley, Walker Township, PA, died peacefully on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at home and surrounded by family. He was the beloved husband of Elizabeth (nee Billig) Koch, to whom he was married for 64 years. Born in the Lewistown Valley on December 19, 1931, Lowell was a son of the late Roscoe and Emma (nee Frantz) Koch. He was a 1949 graduate of Tamaqua High School. A successful businessman, he was the founder and president of Koch’s Turkey Farm, which he and his wife established in 1953. He grew the farm of 1,300 turkeys per year to nearly one million per year with distribution across half of the United States. His leadership and impeccable work ethic set the standard for his business, and these standards continue among the second and third generations of the Koch family in operating the business today. He was also the president of the former Gottshall’s Turkey Plant in Birdsboro, PA. He served as former president and current member of the Pennsylvania Poultry Federation and member of the National Turkey Federation. For his success in agribusiness, he was awarded Master Farmer of the Year in 1979.
In addition to his success in agriculture, he served as director of Sky View Memorial Park, director of the former Lakewood Telephone Company, and past chairman of the Pennsylvania National Bank Advisory Board. He previously served as a member of the Schuylkill County Soil and Water Conservation District. Lowell was a member of Calvary United Methodist Church, Lewistown Valley; Tamaqua F & A Masons #238; and the Schuylkill Country Club.
He sowed happiness and love into every aspect of his life. He never met a stranger, always turned new people into friends, and enjoyed winters in Florida forming lasting relationships. Lowell was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting and fishing; his love of wildlife art transformed him into an amateur collector. He also had a love of classic cars, American-made boots, good food, and scotch.
His greatest source of joy was being a devoted and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; daughters, Barbara Koch of Lewistown Valley; Beth Argall, married to Dave, of Lake Hauto; and Pamela Williams, married to Samuel, of Lewistown Valley; grandchildren, Conor and Logan Hill, Brandon Koch and Jessica Koch Kellner, Arthur and Elizabeth Argall, Laura Stein Carter, Erica Stein Herrera, Brock Stein, and Brooke Williams; and great-grandchildren Deanna Folk and Landon Carter. He is additionally survived by many nieces and nephews. Lowell was preceded in death by his son, Duane Koch, in June 2017, and his three brothers, Albert, Richard, and Orville Koch.
Services will be held at 11am on Wednesday, August 9 in Zion Church, 491 Valley Road, Lewistown Valley, with Pastor James Williams officiating. Entombment in Sky View Memorial Park will follow the services. Call 6-8pm on Tuesday, August 8 at the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home, 500 E. Broad Street, Tamaqua and 10-11am on Wednesday, August 9 in the church. Memorials in Lowell’s name may be made to Abramson Cancer Center Development, 3535 Market Street, Suite 750, Philadelphia, PA 19104—checks made payable to “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.” Online condolences may be made at www.zgfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are being handled by the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., Tamaqua.
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