Joseph L. Koch – Dubuque, formerly of Dyersville

Joseph L. Koch, 57, of Dubuque, and formerly of Dyersville, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, December 3, 2018, in Marshalltown, Iowa.  Joe’s strong faith was evident with his graceful and calm acceptance of his diagnosis of inoperable liver cancer two months earlier and he was ready to meet his Lord.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Key West, Iowa with burial at a later date.  Fr. Rod Allers will officiate.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. on Monday, December 10, 2018 at Kramer Funeral Home, 750 12th Ave SW in Dyersville.  Additionally, an hour-long visitation will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at St. Joseph Church.

Joe was born June 29, 1961, in Dubuque, the son of Jerry and Jeanine (Gassmann) Koch.  He graduated from Beckman High School, Class of 1979.  He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Iowa State University.  After graduation, Joe worked for Interstate Power, Alliant Energy and ITC.  He thoroughly loved his career in electrical engineering.  Joe married Teresa Schmelzer on June 17, 1991 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Basilica and together they had three children.

Joe was passionate about the pro-life movement, recycling and sustainable energy.  He was very kind-hearted with a beautiful soul.  Joe received the Boy Scout Eagle ranking by refinishing the exterior doors of the Basilica and was a member of the Dubuque Lions Club.  It always made his day when one of his Letters to the Editor was published in the TH.  Joe enjoyed traveling with his family across the U.S. and abroad to sightsee and unwind.  He valued the St. Joseph Parish community and the volunteering and ministry opportunities it provided.

Joe is survived by his children, Christa of Chicago, IL, Danny of New Orleans, LA, and Benjamin of Iowa City; his parents; his sisters, Jolyn Hannan of Dubuque, Tina (Steve) Gulick of Dyersville and Jerilyn (Bruce) Kraft of Chanhassen, MN; aunts and uncles, Janet Westhoff, Kenny (Diane) Koch, Steve (Kathy) Koch, Carol (Jim) Cole, Loras (Carolyn Pasquier) Gassmann, Marilyn Errthum, Karolyn Rose Taylor, Stan (Jane) Gassmann and Marchelle Kluesner; many nieces and nephews; two great-nephews; and the mother of his children, Teresa Koch.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Cyril and Alvina Gassmann and Lawrence and Julanda Koch; and his uncles, Joe Taylor, Fritz Errthum, Phil Kluesner, Bob Koch and Walter Westhoff.

Memorials may be given (in Joe’s name) to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Key West, Dubuque County Right to Life, Beckman Catholic High School and Wahlert Catholic High School.

The family would like to thank Dr. Kassas, and Dr. Johlin and his nurse Mary of the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics for their compassionate care of Joe.  A heartfelt thank you to Joe’s loving high school friends, Mike and Nancy Pins, who made Joe’s last day special.

Information available and condolences accepted at