Warren Harding Koch Jr. (66) entered the spirit world Jan. 27, 2018 at St. Vincent Healthcare Hospital, following a brief illness. Known to everyone by the nickname “Red,” he was born Sept. 10, 1951 to Eva (Seewalker) and Warren Koch Sr. The family lived in Cannonball, Solen, Mandan and Bismarck, ND. Red was in the first group of students to attend Riverside Elementary School when it opened in Bismarck. He attended Oak Grove Elementary in Cannonball and graduated from Fort Yates Community High School.
Red married Verna Whiteclay and the pair became lifelong partners through 42 years of marriage. Courtesy of the federal government’s Indian relocation program, Red made his way to Denver, CO, where he studied electrician training and became a loyal Broncos fan. Returning to Bismarck, he found his niche at United Tribes Technical College and became one of the longest serving and best-liked members of the staff. He started as a bus driver and became director of transportation, supervising the campus bussing operations and maintenance of the college fleet. Red and Verna lived on the campus for many years and are remembered for their dedication and service to students and their families. When the staff was short of drivers, Red occasionally slept at the bus garage to ensure that students had a ride. His compassion and concern for others earned him a reputation as the “go-to” guy for fixing vehicles. He was self-taught as a mechanic and always ready to help.
Red became friends with many students and staff members and people throughout the community during his 42 years at the college. He served 18 years on the board of Theodore Jamerson Elementary School on campus. He was kind-hearted and personable and had a good sense of humor. About his light complexion he joked that he fell into a sack of flour when he was born. His Pekingese dog Sasha was his constant companion at work and home.
Red was preceded in death by his parents and son Monte Whiteclay Sr. His memory will be held dear by his wife Verna; sons Sean, Jay and Jody; daughters Lissa and Jolee Whiteclay and Nancy Gallagher; sisters Sue (Roger) Kramer, Juanita Yellow Wolf and Delphine Morgan, brother Dwight (Angie) Koch; nieces and nephews Shiela and Sheriden Netterville, Sage Koch, Jeremy and Chad Kramer, and Roberta, Timothy and Clinton Running Horse; and grandchildren Andrew, Ryan and Rmani Netterville, Mackenzie, Ayana and Avaya St. Cyr, Monte Whiteclay Jr., Whitney Heitzmann-Koch and Jayson Koch; and all his many friends and co-workers.
Arrangements are provided by Bullis Mortuary,