Cover photo for Rodney Lee Koch's Obituary
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1933 Rodney 2022

Rodney Lee Koch

February 10, 1933 — August 1, 2022

Rodney Lee Koch of Cozad passed away Monday, August 1, 2022 at Elwood Care Center at the age of 89. Rodney was born on February 10, 1933 in Eustis, Nebraska to Rueben J. Koch and Opal J. Koch.  During his youth Rodney worked with his father in the trucking, corn shelling and combining business until he finished high school in 1950 and entered Kearney State Teachers College in 1951.  Rodney married his high school sweetheart, Wanda Lu Hess, on January 1, 1953 and they made their home in Kearney until Rodney’s graduation in 1955. 

Rodney accepted his first teaching position in Arapahoe, NE as an English teacher and remained there until 1961. At that point he was hired as superintendent of Holbrook Public Schools.  In the summer of 1963 Rodney, Wanda and their young family moved back to Arapahoe where he took on the position of superintendent.  He left that position until he took the position of superintendent in 1968 for Cozad Public Schools.  Rodney served Cozad public schools for 27 years and retired from that position in 1995 when he retired after serving in education for a total of 42 years.  During his time as a teacher and administrator Rodney received many honors and held numerous positions in educational organizations at the local and state levels.  Rodney was extremely well respected by those who worked with him and for him.

During his marriage to Wanda they were blessed with the birth of four sons, Randall, Ronald, Russell, and Robbie.  Rodney and his father, Reuben, worked to create an oasis for their family and friends on Plum Creek Canyon.  The family spent many weekends enjoying their time together and making memories at the family cabin.

After retirement Rod and Wanda took the time to enjoy traveling together.  They traveled around the United States and Europe and had many wonderful experiences.  They remained in their home in Cozad and helped care for some of their grandchildren.  Rodney enjoyed spending time with his education friends who had also retired and gossiping over coffee and with his Bible study group.

Rodney was preceded in death by his beloved wife Wanda, his son Randall and his parents, Reuben and Opal.  Rodney is survived by his sons Ronald (Carol) and their sons, Derek Koch and Logan Koch, Russell (Quenna) and their children, Ian (Meridith) Koch, Savannah Koch, Mariah Koch (Jeremy Goodrich) and their children, Thea Rae and Emrys Goodrich, Robbie (Karen) and their children, Curtis (Jessica) Koch, Jaeden Koch and Rebecca Koch.  Other survivors include grandchildren, Jeremy Koch (Bailey) and Hudson and Asher Koch, Jennifer and Jim Louthan, Jacqui (Austin) Hendrickson.

Memorials are suggested to the Cozad Community Foundation. Online condolences may be shared at Services will be Friday, August 5, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at the American Lutheran Church with Pastor Kathy Gundell officiating. Private family burial will be held at Eustis East Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday, August 4, 2022 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. with family receiving friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Berryman Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rodney Lee Koch, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, August 4, 2022

1:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, August 5, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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