Frank B. Koch April 8, 1931- March 3, 2009 “If you live a meaningful life, you never really die. Instead, you break into 1,000 pieces, each of which stay alive within the people whose lives you’ve touched along the way.” My wonderful father passed away March 3, 2009 after a lightning-quick 2-month battle with advanced stomach cancer. I miss him beyond belief. My father was a great man. He was sturdy, steady, loyal, loving. A life-long learner, an exuberant student of life. Compassionate, generous, quirky, vital. A flaming liberal. Funny, funny, funny. Frank lived large every day. Dad was just a big kid. He loved to play. He was very often the one to initiate a pillow fight in our living room. Dad would pick up a pillow, pretend to throw it at me, and blindside David in the head. That would start a full-fledged pillow war, with Mom yelling, “David, Lisa, Frank…stop! Kids, Frank… stop!” He was our Dad, but he played hard, and he always had a twinkle in his eye. Frank was notoriously cheap. He was always looking for a deal, clipping coupons, and complaining about the cost of… pretty much everything. When David and I were in junior high, we came up with a joke: Why did Frank cross the road? To get to the Bi-Mart on the other side. Growing up, I had no idea that you could buy tires new… Dad only bought retreads. So that’s what I bought for all my early cars, and I watched my tire tread fly off at high speeds on the freeway. The good news? I could change a tire in 15 minutes flat, because I had to do it a lot. Thanks, Dad. Frank taught rocks and minerals to his 6th grade class, and he really loved geology. Loved science, loved nature. Dave and I called him Mr. Science because he had the answer to everything. “I have a Master’s Degree… in Science!” When we were kids, we had no idea that our family outings were really test field trips. If it worked on us, he’d try it out on his 6th graders. Later, when I was in high school, I took an aptitude test to see what subjects I excelled in. I was a musician and I figured I’d score high creatively. I scored off the charts in Science. I thought I hated science. Apparently, I learned it by osmosis. Thanks, Dad. Dad and mom both were so supportive of their children, no matter what. Supportive of alternative vocations and lifestyles. David and I both started a career in music, which has got to be a parent’s biggest nightmare. But Dad was our best audience, from the time we first started hamming it up. If we could make Dad laugh… we knew it was funny. He was the master, all we had to do was watch and learn. We’d be at a social gathering, and as we were leaving, Dad would go up to the host, put his thumb and forefinger together with a teeny space in between and say, ‘It’s been this close to being interesting.” Dad and Mom encouraged us to do what we loved… and we did. I watched my parents as educators all those years, and they loved teaching, they were passionate about it. Dad treated 11 year old kids with respect, and humor, made them look at things a different way, challenged them--- and they blossomed. Dad was passionate about everything he did. Someone once said, "The people whose lives you touch may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." Dad touched everybody he ever came in contact with. He made us all feel special, listened to, loved, ALIVE, because he was so alive. We received hundreds of cards, letters and emails from people, mourning dad’s illness, and then the loss of their friend. In his last 2 months, Dad got to hear and see how much people loved him. That’s a gift. He was one-of-a-kind. I’m proud to be his daughter, and I carry him with me. Bad jokes and all. "Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts... And we are never, ever the same..." Love you, Dad.