Richard Homer Hoch, 82, died Jan. 23 in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
The cause was COVID-19, this devastating disease that he fought bravely, with great strength and determination.
Richard was born April 5, 1938, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Wharton Hoch and Betty Wilson.
He was raised in Marion, by his father and his loving stepmother Nadine (Noll) Hoch. He grew up helping his father with the family newspaper, Marion County Record. He had a nasty but proud scar on his left foot, caused when a can of molten lead spilled while he was setting type at 8 years old!
Richard graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in business, where he met and married the love of his life Nancy (DeLong) Hoch in 1961.
He later earned his law degree from the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Never afraid of hard work, he paid his way through school working as a switchman on the Santa Fe Railroad.
He was from a well-respected political and newspaper family in Kansas. His great-grandfather E.W. Hoch was governor of the state of Kansas and a renowned orator. His grandfather, Homer Hoch, was a U.S. Congressman and Kansas Supreme Court Justice.
In 1964, he and his wife Nancy, moved to Nebraska City, Nebraska, her hometown, to settle down, start his law practice, and their family.
Richard celebrated a successful law career that spanned more than 50 years in the state of Nebraska.
From 1969 to 1971, he was the attorney to the governor under Norbert Tiemann and before that, county attorney in Otoe County, serving three years.
He acted as legal counsel to the Nebraska City School Board for more than 20 years. He was also one of the instigators of Fort Teen, a youth facility in the 1970s.
He was a long-time active member of the Nebraska City Elks Lodge and served as exalted ruler. He joined Rotary Club in Nebraska City in 1964, where he was the president for two separate terms and continued to be a member until his death.
He could be found most mornings during his young legal career at the men’s coffee klatch in the basement of the bank; a great fraternity of local businessmen who met daily for coffee, doughnuts, and banter.
He loved travel, sailboats, cars, and later in life developed a passion for motorcycles.
Richard was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church where he also taught a high school Sunday school class for several years.
He hung the American flag out before he went to work and took it in before bed almost every day of his adult life, a proud and patriotic American.
He was also a huge supporter, speechwriter, driver, the rudder and anchor for his wife’s political and professional career. He was a modern man before it was popular to be so.
Richard was the first and only Gringo to be gored by a bull in San Miguel de Allende during the very first Pamplonada, “running of the bulls.” It was his favorite story, and he wore that scar like a badge!
But he was first a family man. He baked bread, spent weekends doing yard work, playing with his kids and always made the best Sunday brunches around. He coached little league baseball, built playhouses, volunteered for different organizations and was a father figure to several kids in his neighborhood.
He made wills for little old ladies who could only pay with homemade preserves, and farmers who paid with sweet corn or pork.
Richard is survived by his wife Nancy; his dear stepmother Nadine Hoch; daughters Sarah Hoch and her husband, Ernesto Herrara, of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and Hannah Hoch, of San Miguel de Allende, México; son Richard Hoch II and his wife, Kristie, of Tucson, Arizona; five grandchildren Santiago, Nancy, Richard, Joshua and Coco; and two great-grandchildren, Eli and Johan.
He is also survived by six of his seven brothers and sisters, and their families: Robert Hoch, Beverly Hoch Steinel, James Hoch, William Hoch, Jane Wilson, and John Wilson.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Sue Wilson.
Condolences may be mailed to Sarah Hoch, Prolongacion de la Calzada Aurora No. 11, San Miguel de Allende GTO 37700, Mexico or to Nadine Hoch, 3819 Monte Carlo Lane, Denton, TX 76210.