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Koch’s efforts, heart built up region

John Koch died in Naples, Fla., last week at age 97.

He moved to Naples from Dunkirk 38 ago after selling his brewery and the death of his wife. As a result, most people in Dunkirk-Fredonia area do not remember him or know much about him.

I have had the good fortune of knowing John and his family for more than 50 years. The OBSERVER obituary of Jan. 31 lists many of his activities, but do not get the flavor of all he did for our area.

John was one of those guys who returned from World War II and provided the needed leadership of our community during the late ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s starting the Jaycees, building up Lakeshore Bank, chairman of the County Industrial Development Agency for many years and starting the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation.

He served on the boards of just about every organization in the area. His efforts helped make the area a better place to live and we will miss citizens like John who did all he did for his love of the area.

James Mintun, formerly of Portland, is a resident of Orchard Park and Naples, Fla.

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