Rudolph “Rudy” L. Koch, 79, of Princeton, Texas passed away Tuesday Nov. 3, 2020, peacefully at home surrounded by his family.
Rudy was born November 21, 1940 in San Antonio to the late Rudolph William Koch and the late Germaine (Wille) Hazelrigg. Proud of his German heritage and Texan roots, he enlisted in the United States Air Force not long after graduating Kaiserslautern High School in Germany. He posted first to Okinawa, Japan after Basic, where he met and married Sachiko Tamaki in 1965 and took up scuba diving. His tours of duty brought his family abroad, where they enjoyed a life of discovery and cultural immersion. He retired Chief Master Sergeant in 1993 after completing his last tour, coincidentally back in Okinawa where he got another chance to dive its coral reefs, this time with his grown sons.
Chief Koch’s forceful leadership served him well in running best-in-command PMEL labs (Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratories) serving all military branches, establishing the first-ever high intensity radiation and laser calibration facilities in the Western Pacific theater, and implementing impactful quality management initiatives through process analysis and supervisory empowerment.
With his BS in Professional Aeronautics cum laude from Embry-Riddle, Rudy brought his 31 years of meritorious Air Force experience to the private sector, as a Program Manager at Boeing before culminating his career as F-15/F-18 MCM Program Manager, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, and retiring for good in 2005. He and Sachiko built their forever home on 20 acres near Lake Lavon, enjoying quiet country living and sailing his West Wight Potter. When his community called on him, Rudy didn’t hesitate to volunteer, where he served many years on the Board of the Culleoka Water Supply Corporation eventually as Vice President until he passed. Rudy typified his life by industriousness, humor, and integrity. The relationships he nurtured with family, friends and colleagues were meaningful and lasting.
Rudy is preceded in death by his brother, Navy Captain Steve Hazelrigg and survived by his wife of 55 years, Sachiko; two sons, William R. Koch, and wife, Windy, of Pennsylvania and Edward S. Koch, and wife, Yolotl, of Texas; four grandchildren: Alena, Isabel, Stafford and Natalia.
In keeping with Rudy’s wishes, a private family ceremony will accompany his inurnment with military honors at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations in his name be made to the USO (secure.uso.org/donate) or Red Cross (redcross.org).
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