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Valentin Kocher

Valentin Kocher

June 30th, 1945 - October 3rd, 2019
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Obituary

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 respected 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.
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Service Details

  • Funeral Mass

    October 22nd, 2019 | 10:00am
    When
    October 22nd, 2019 10:00am
    Location
    St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church
    Address
    238 - 2nd Avenue NE
    MEDICINE HAT, AB T1A 5Z9
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Father Francis Tran
  • Interment

    October 22nd, 2019 |
    When
    October 22nd, 2019
    Location
    Hillside Cemetery
    Address
    Gershaw Drive SW & 10 Avenue SW
    Medicine Hat, Alberta
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    October 22nd, 2019 |
    When
    October 22nd, 2019
    Location
    St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church
    Address
    238 - 2nd Avenue NE
    MEDICINE HAT, AB T1A 5Z9
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Michelle Pisoni

Posted at 04:48pm
I worked with Val at Monsignor McCoy High School in the English department. He was a great mentor, supportive colleague, and quintessential, hard-working teacher. His dedication to his craft was evident in all that he did. His double briefcase of marking was a personal trademark. Val would wake up insanely early for preparation of his English lessons; his work ethic was unsurpassed. Even in his last year of teaching he was still adding footnotes to his copy of Hamlet, contemplating Shakespearean nuances, and tweaking his lesson presentation. I truly admired his dedication and valued his advice! Val was a colleague who would give you the shirt off of his back and he literally did this for me when I was extremely pregnant with my daughter. He shared some of his large shirts with me so that I didn't have to purchase more maternity clothes. I'm sure some of our students were wondering why I was wearing Mr. Kocher's shirts, but I didn't care. He was a gem and also a prankster. At lunch time one day Val opened a can of sardines while I sat next to him; remember I was very pregnant and queasy at the time. I almost didn't make it to the staff bathroom in time. Mr. Kocher, you were a great man with a heart of gold. You will be missed but never forgotten. "Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." (Hamlet, Act V, scene 2, lines 378-379)
Michelle Pisoni
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