Peter Koch was selected as the first President of the Oregon Chapter of AHSGR at its founding on April 25, 1971.
Peter was born on March 27, 1902 in the Volga German colony of Kolb, Russia, the son of Alexander and Anna Maria (née Schaffer) Koch. The family arrived in the United States in about 1912 and settled in the Albina area of Portland. Peter married Anna Marie Hartung in 1925.
Peter was passionate about his German Russian heritage. He was known as a great story teller and had a fantastic memory about life in the old country.
While attending an AHSGR meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska, Peter appeared, wearing a full Umatilla tribal costume made of white buckskin, to invite the membership to attend the Portland Convention during the summer of 1973.
Peter also loved to sing. Some of the songs that he, Conrad Krening, Adam Koch and Jack Deines were recorded and performed at the first AHSGR Convention in Portland.
In 1978, Peter was part of a group of 61 members of AHSGR that undertook a tour to South America to attend the Germans from Russia centennial celebration in Argentina and to visit groups of our people in Brazil and Paraguay. The group also included Oregon Chapter members Hannah Deines and Anna and Albert Wardin.
A long time member of the Second German Congregational Church, Peter served for many years as the treasurer for this congregation.
Peter owned and operated disposal services in Portland, Vanport, Grand Coulee, Camp Hanford, and Kennewick, Washington. He also served as an interpreter for the Russian lend lease ships in Portland during World War II.
Peter died in Portland on May 21, 1987.
In 2002, Peter's son, Dr. Raymond P. Koch, was elected as President of the Oregon Chapter.
Norman Koch (son of Peter Koch)
Diane Koch (wife of Ray Koch)
Oregon Chapter records