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Turkey Production / North America / Industry News & Trends
on August 7, 2017

Lowell Koch, founder of Koch’s Turkey Farm, dead at age 85

Also was president of Gottshall’s Turkey Plant

Lowell Robert Koch, 85, of Lewistown Valley, Pennsylvania, died Thursday, August 3, 2017.

A successful businessman, Koch was the founder and president of Koch’s Turkey Farm, which he and his wife established in 1953. He grew the farm of 1,300 turkeys per year to nearly one million per year with distribution across half of the United States. His leadership and work ethic set the standard for his business, and these standards continue among the second, third, and fourth generations of the Koch family in operating the business today.

Born in Lewistown Valley on December 19, 1931, he was a son of the late Roscoe and Emma (nee Frantz) Koch. He was a 1949 graduate of Tamaqua High School.

He was also the president of the former Gottshall’s Turkey Plant in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania. He served as former president and current member of the Pennsylvania Poultry Federation and member of the National Turkey Federation. For his success in agribusiness, he was awarded Master Farmer of the Year in 1979.

In addition to his success in agriculture, Koch served as director of Sky View Memorial Park, director of the former Lakewood Telephone Company, and past chairman of the Pennsylvania National Bank Advisory Board. He previously served as a member of the Schuylkill County Soil and Water Conservation District. He was a member of Calvary United Methodist Church, Lewistown Valley; Tamaqua F & A Masons #238; and the Schuylkill Country Club.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth; daughters, Barbara Koch, Beth (Dave) Argall, and Pamela (Samuel) Williams; grandchildren, Conor and Logan Hill, Brandon Koch and Jessica Koch Kellner, Arthur and Elizabeth Argall, Laura Stein Carter, Erica Stein Herrera, Brock Stein, and Brooke Williams; great-grandchildren Deanna Folk and Landon Carter; and many nieces and nephews.

Koch was preceded in death by his son, Duane Koch, and three brothers, Albert, Richard, and Orville Koch.

Services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, August 9 in Zion Church, 491 Valley Road, Lewistown Valley, Pennsylvania, with Pastor James Williams officiating. Entombment in Sky View Memorial Park will follow the services.

Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, August 8 at the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home, 500 E. Broad Street, Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, and 10-11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 9 in the church.

Memorials may be made to Abramson Cancer Center Development 3535 Market Street, Suite 750 Philadelphia, PA 19104, with checks made payable to “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.”

Online condolences may be made at www.zgfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are being handled by the Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc. in Tamaqua.

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