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Joseph Merritt Koch, 85, of Fayston, passed away in the comfort of his family on Friday, May 25, 2012, at the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. Born on April 29, 1927, he was the son of the late Joseph B. and Estelle (Christmann) Koch. On December 26, 1959, he married the former Jean Oliver in Teaneck, NJ.
Joseph was a 1945 graduate of Hawthorne High School in Paterson, NJ, and then continued his education as a very proud and honored scholarship student at the King’s Point (NY) U.S. Merchant Marine Academy where he earned his bachelor of science degree in engineering. He continued his Merchant Marine training at the San Mateo (CA) Training Center where he met his lifelong friend, John Dillon. While at the training center, he and John had a choice of either serving on the deck or engine room; John chose the deck and Joe, the engine room. While in Yokohama, Japan, Joe received life threatening burns from a steam valve and had actually received last rites; he decided that this was not his time and went on to be an accomplished, successful and natural born salesman.
Joe began his sales career when he took over his father’s used car business in Paterson, NJ, which he sold in 1960. From there he went to work for the Bendix Corporation as a technical sales engineer and then in 1973, took a job selling perimeter security systems for Security Sciences Corporation of America (SESCOA) in Franklin Lakes, NJ.
Joe accepted a position with Simmons Precision of Vergennes selling fuel-metering systems for civilian and military aircraft and then from 1977 for over the next 25 years, he worked for Del Norte Technology, first in Fort Wayne, IN, and then from his home in Fayston selling computerized perimeter security systems for federal and state prisons.
His memberships included Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church in Waitsfield, the Waitsfield Rotary Club, the Ski Club of New Jersey, the Sugarbush Soaring Association, and the Ski Patrol at Mad River Glen.
His family fondly remembers Joe for his love of motor boating, sailing, ice boating, sports cars, skiing and his daredevil ways on water skis. He also enjoyed tennis, flying and restoring vintage aircraft and camping. Joe enjoyed a lifelong attraction to fun and adventure. We will always remember his positive outlook on life and his ability to make friends wherever he went.
Joe is survived by his wife of 52 years, Jean Koch of Fayston; two daughters, Susan Koch of Honesdale, PA, Jennifer Koch and her husband Gregg Blasdel of Burlington; a son, Steve Koch and his wife Christi of Brandon; a sister, Lois Petersen of Pompton Plains, NJ; as well as nieces, nephews and extended family. Joe was predeceased by a sister, Estelle Murphy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated from Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church in Waitsfield on Tuesday, June 5, 2012, at 10 a.m. with a reception to follow. Inurnment will be in Bragg Hill Cemetery. For those who wish, memorial gifts would be appreciated in lieu of flowers to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Academic Scholarship Program, 300 Steamboat Road, Kings Point, NY 11024. To send online condolences please visit www.perkinsparker.com and Facebook. Assisting the family is the Perkins-Parker Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Waterbury.