Crosslake resident Richard Koch, 80, died Monday, Jan. 13, at his home in Crosslake. Koch was a Crosslake resident since 1977 and owned NorthWedge Greenhouse with his wife, Nancy.
Koch was also a founding member of the Crow Wing County Dive Team. It was through diving that Koch and Bill Matthies met.
When founding the dive team, Koch and close friend Bob Baker would visit Matthies’ store.
“He was amazing,” Matthies said of Koch. “He was so kind, and so sincere, and yet he loved to laugh at jokes and so on. Just a perfect friend. I really miss him.”
Matthies said Koch was one to help others.
“I think he felt (forming the dive team) was a public service. It was his nature to always try to help any way that he could,” Matthies said.
In addition to forming the dive team, Koch was a member of the Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation board and spent several years on the city’s roads commission. He attended the Crosslake Evangelical Free Church and served terms as chairman of the board and treasurer.
Before owning the Crosslake greenhouse, Koch managed a greenhouse complex for Lamont DuPont and Pamela Copeland’s estate Mount Cuba. He won numerous awards at the Philadelphia flower show, exhibiting on behalf of the Copelands.