1945 ~ VAL KOCHER ~ 2019

Posted: October 21st, 2019

Valentin Kocher of Medicine Hat, passed away on Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 at the age of 74 years. Val grew up on a farm near Revenue, Saskatchewan. He received his education at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. After teaching in Saskatchewan for five years in the towns of Wilkie and Norquay, Val came to Medicine Hat in August 1976. He taught mainly English for McCoy High School for the next twenty-five years. He also taught German for a few years. Mr. Kocher’s manner was quiet. He was a reflective, serious man but also had a great sense of humour. He respected his students as persons, assuming they were well intentioned unless they proved otherwise. Above all, he hoped to transmit to students his enthusiasm for learning and a life-ling love of English literature. He read widely as a hobby and worked hard on his courses. Students r espected him because he was very knowledgeable. Mr. Kocher coached students in volleyball, curling, public speaking and debate. He served as the McCoy staff representative at Alberta Teachers Association meetings. He was Team Leader of the English Department. He retired in June 2001. Val’s interesting family history is in the book, ‘Memories of the Black Sea Germans’ by Joseph S. Height, available at the public library. Val’s mother, Magdalena Volk (nee Zeiler), wrote the article “Sorrows of a Refugee Mother.” It describes the life of his parents in the Soviet Union, how his mother became separated from her other children due to the warring armies during World War II, and how she came into contact with them again eleven years later. Val was born in Berlin, Germany. In 1949 his mother and he immigrated to Canada, where she married John Volk, a widower with eight children. Val saw his brother and sister for the first time in 1977 when he and his mother travelled to Kirghizia, in the Soviet Union. Later, when the Soviet Union disbanded, Val’s brother, sister and most of his relatives immigrated to Germany. Val’s brother Josef, his wife Josefine, and their children Elena, Georg and Irene live in Offenburg, Germany. His sister Maria, her husband Albert, and their sons Josef and John also live in Offenburg. Val’s sister, Audrey Wilson, daughter of Magdalena and John Volk, lives in Okotoks, Alberta. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at ST. PATRICK’S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, 238 – 2nd Avenue NE, on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. with Father Francis Tran, Celebrant. Interment will follow in the Roman Catholic Section at Hillside Cemetery. Condolences may be sent through www.saamis.com or to condolences@saamis.com subject heading Val Kocher. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to

SAAMIS MEMORIAL FUNERAL CHAPEL CREMATORIUM & RECEPTION CENTRE, “The Chapel in the Park” #1 Dunmore Road SE, Medicine Hat, AB T1A 1Z5 (403)528-2599 www.saamis.com inquiry@saamis.com Locally owned and directed CGR Holdings Ltd.

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