Hans Dieter Ochs
Hans Dieter Ochs died on Sept. 24, 2018, with his family gathered around him at Mercy Medical Center. In keeping with Dieter's "I'd rather be seen than viewed" philosophy, the family has chosen private inurnment. There will be no immediate services.
Dieter was born in Frankfurt, Germany, on May 27, 1937, the second child of Ernst Johann and Friedericke Katharina Ochs. His father, who was a merchant by trade, died when Dieter was only seven, meaning he and his siblings were raised by a single mother and her extended family.
At the age of 21, Dieter followed his older brother to the U.S. Not long thereafter, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. In those days, as the holder of a green card, one could choose either to honor the draft notice or go home. Dieter chose to go to the Army, which, in its infinite wisdom, posted him in Germany.
Following his discharge, and to Dieter's immense good fortune, on July 7, 1962, he succeeded in securing the hand of Baerbel (Barbara) Klose in marriage. They welcomed their first son into the world the same year. In 1964, he and "Babs" and their toddler emigrated to the States, settling first in Ravenna, Ohio, near Dieter's brother.
In 1966, Dieter accepted a job offer to work as a salesman for a company then known as Cedar Rapids Engineering Co. He and Babs packed up again, this time settling in Cedar Rapids. A second son arrived in 1968, earning the family's first American passport.
Selling the "Kwik-Way" line turned out to be a natural fit for Dieter, as his love of cars meshed easily with the job of promoting engine reconditioning equipment. He advanced through various positions with the company over the next 40 years, even serving as president, but he always regarded his role cultivating relationships as a salesman to be his most essential work.
Dieter had charisma, a presence that attracted affection without his seeking it. He taught his children the value of honesty, hard work and good humor toward our fellow travelers. His love for his family was enduring, especially for his grandchildren, who treasured their "Opa" in return. Dieter always made time for a shared meal with family or friends, best preceded by a proper glass of whisky. Dieter's other passion was music, particularly Dixieland-era jazz. He was downright dismissive of those who dared to declare that a washboard, which he played with accomplishment, is not really an instrument. He also had a lifelong love for sports cars, which culminated with his devotion to his 1964 Morgan roadster and his Porsche. Most recently, Dieter looked forward to his weekly lunchtime get-togethers with two groups of well-seasoned companions, the Romeos and the Legends.
Left to treasure his memory are his wife, Barbara; son, Thomas, and daughter-in-law, Bethann Kohl, and son, Robin; grandchildren, Jackson, Sophia, Walker and Kellen Ochs; brother-in-law, Gert Fuhry of Germany; sister-in-law, Joan Ochs of San Diego; and nephews and nieces in California, Texas and France.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and his siblings, Karl Heinz Ochs and Lieselotte Fuhry.
Dieter lived life well. The family will announce a date later this fall for a public gathering to share memories and celebrate. In keeping with Dieter's reverence for observing etiquette, Scotch whisky will be featured.
The family would like to thank EMS responders from Marion and Bertram and the physicians and staff at Mercy for their professionalism and compassion.
Those wishing to make a memorial donation in Dieter's memory are requested to direct their gifts to either KCCK or KUNI public radio stations or to the Brucemore historic site.
A more detailed obituary may be found at www.iowacremation.com.