Holiday World's Bill Koch dies at age 86

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Bill with wife Pat

Circa 1963

Bill Koch, the "father" of the Holiday World family, died this evening in his home at the age of 86. Koch became involved with the park, then called Santa Claus Land, in 1946 when his father opened it as a retirement project. Among his projects intended to help with the development and enrichment of Southern Indiana, Koch was instrumental in pursuing the federal government to route I-64 through Southern Indiana and recently became involved in the expansion of US route 231. He was also a central figure in the development of Santa Claus, Indian, incorporated in 1967.

Bill and Will

Koch is survived by his wife Pat and son Will (president of Holiday World), two of the most public figures at the park, as well as Dr. Kristi Koch George, an Indianapolis neurologist; Dan, an attorney in Miami, Florida; Philip, the general manager of Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort and Kringle Place; and Natalie, who is currently working on her MBA degree at Purdue University. The W.A. Kochs have eight grandchildren.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the W.A. Koch Family Fund, which is part of the Spencer County Community Foundation.

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