Obituary Listings

Gunter W. Koch

November 25, 1924 July 8, 2017
Gunter W. Koch
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Obituary for Gunter W. Koch

Gunter W. Koch, 92, died Saturday, July 8, 2017, at Woodland Terrace of Longmeadow in Niles.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, July 17, at the Seminary Chapel on the campus of Andrews University.  Visitation with the family and viewing will be one hour before the service, also at the Seminary Chapel.  Allred Funeral Home, Berrien Springs, has been entrusted with arrangements, and online messages may be left for the family at

Gunter Koch was born November 25, 1924, in Tokyo, Japan, and lived there with his missionary parents, Pastor and Mrs. Alfred Koch, until the age of 15. He was fluent in the Japanese and German languages. Gunter lived in the United States and supported himself after age 15. He graduated in 1943 and 1945 from high school and junior college at what is now Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. 

In 1945 he registered in dental school, at what is now Emory University School of Dentistry in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating in 1949 with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.  Before starting his senior year at Emory University, he entered the U.S. military and served for three years during the Korean War.

He married Erna Mae Kyle in 1948. Beginning in 1952, they built a successful dental practice in Bangor, Michigan. The couple shared business acumen, a love of music, their church and their family. The couple had two children, Ruth Koch (died 2015) and Gerald Koch (died 2013). Erna Mae passed to her rest in 2006.

After 40 years of dental practice, Gunter retired in 1992. Upon retirement he developed an interest in photography, and earned a Bachelor of Science in photography at Andrews University, which gave him a renewed zest for travel and life in general. A self-proclaimed workaholic, Gunter also remained active with gardening, boating, skiing, tennis, golf, playing the violin and photography, until he suffered a stroke in 2015.

In October 2009 Gunter married Dorothy Johnson, a widow from California. The Kochs and the Johnsons had been family and professional friends as young professionals in Michigan. Gunter and Dottie kept a home in Berrien Springs and wintered in California.

Gunter leaves behind his beloved wife, Dottie; his son’s former wife, Karen; two grandchildren, Carey Koch and Casey Koch; and four great-grandchildren, CJ, Matthew, Sámya, and Karen; a sister, Hildegard Landschoot of Pebble Beach, California; nieces and nephews, and a host of lifelong friends.

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