Brian E. Koch, 39, of Peoria, passed away on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, in Peoria. He is preceded in death by his beloved German Shepherd, Gunnar.
Brian was a loving fiancé, dad, and “step-dad” leaving behind Rebecca (Becky) Fulkerson and her two daughters, Dakota and Casey of Peoria, along with his Pride and Joy – his son Harlan Root Koch.
He was born on March 11, 1982, in East Chicago, IN. Brian is also survived by his mother, Robin Gray, and his stepdad, Tom Lightfoot, his father, Douglas Koch, his brother, Kristopher (Sid) Koch, his grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Brian grew up a natural on the ice. At the age of 12 he played ice hockey for the Chicago Young Americans and the team won the USA National Championship. He then played for the Spirit of Chicago, where his team won the Lions Cup, twice. During his tenure, he was named the MVP of multiple tournaments. He played hockey and baseball for Mt. Carmel High School before moving to Minnesota. At the age of 15, he made the USA Select 15 team, where his team is listed in the Hall of Fame in Canada. At 17, Brian signed with the North American Hockey League and played for both the St. Louis Sting, before being traded to the Texas Tornadoes, where he finished his hockey career. He was also a scratch golfer enjoying every course he was able to play. He has been a coveted asset on many golf scrambles and outings over the past 4 years.
After playing hockey, Brian returned home and worked as an auto technician with his uncle. He then joined the United States Army and served out of Fort Hood, TX from 2006-2012. After his discharge, he returned to Illinois, before landing in Peoria, working as an auto technician. He worked for various dealerships and was two months away from achieving Certified Master Technician in Ford Motor Company. Brian last worked as an auto technician at Verkler Truck Repair.
After meeting Becky, Brian’s life was almost complete. He loved her more than anything and the day before Brian’s accident, he and Becky were finalizing their wedding plans for Clearwater Beach in Florida. He was an extremely supportive and loving partner as well as amazing dad/”stepdad”. His goal in life was to finalize and be a complete family. Brian adored his son Harlan and loved being a “dad” to Dakota and Casey. He absolutely loved going to watch them participate in their sports, play cars or “army train” with Harlan, and go on many adventures (the most recent to Lake of the Ozarks) as a family. He was extremely proud of the children and bragged to everyone how happy and proud of them he was. On kid-free weekends, he would often be found cruising around town on his Harley, with Becky on back. They loved riding together, running, hiking, reading, laughing, cooking, snacking, playing games, and just making each other laugh. As long as they were together, they were happy and it was evident to all the amount of love they had for each other.
The people who know him will remember Brian as a big guy who wore a smile on his face and was a friend to everyone he met. He loved meeting and talking to people. Brian had a passion for Chicago and was a die hard Bears fan, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, and the Chicago White Sox. Brian had a passion for life and fought every day to overcome the hurdles of PTSD, anxiety, and depression as a result of his hockey and military days. Brian wanted to be a man of God and he started attending Trinity Lutheran Church with Becky and the kids, after they met. He had a renewed walk in faith and wanted to know more about God.
A Memorial Service to celebrate Brian’s Life will be held on October 16, 2021, at 11:00 AM, at Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 135 NE Randolph Ave. in Peoria. There will be a visitation one hour prior to the service. If you have a Harley Davidson shirt, please wear it to the service, as Brian would have loved it. Cremation rites have been accorded.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Affordable Funerals and Cremations.
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