Roy Hoch

Obituary of Roy Hoch

On January 18, 2018 The Rev. Roy C. Hoch died at 5:05pm in his home surrounded by family and loved ones. He and his wife of 67 years, Mary Jane, were residents of Aptos since 1988. Mary Jane preceded him in death on March 1, 2017. He is survived by a son Dana of Saratoga, CA, a daughter Beth of Alameda, and a son, Hans of San Francisco and four grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Doris Richards, of Richmond, VA.

Born in 1927 in Butler,, Pennsylvania, Roy was the last of five children born to Rose and Farrel Hoch. He graduated from Butler High School and entered the Navy near the end of WWII. In recruit training Roy sang with the Navy Blue Jacket Choir and later became a swimming instructor and a springboard diver for the Great Lakes Naval Training Center swimming team. He was honorably discharged and then attended Capital University, Columbus, Ohio where he met his wife to be, Mary Jane Koehler of Sandusky, Ohio. He was active in drama, choir and athletics and in '49 was voted All Ohio Conference guard in football and was subsequently inducted into the university's Football Hall of Fame. He and Mary Jane were married on June 3, 1950 and had the three children named above. In a Ministers Prayer Book which Roy has used since seminary there is a prayer asking God's blessing upon the social missions of the Church, especially "social workers, chaplains, and doctors." He and Mary Jane have been most gratified to have been able to see one of their children in each profession.

Roy entered Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary after graduating from college and graduated from that institution in 1953. He was ordained into the Lutheran Ministry that year and did graduate work after seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and Santa Clara University from which he received a Master's Degree in Pastoral Counseling. He served parishes in Ada and Toledo, Ohio. In Ada, the home of Ohio Northern University, Roy became acquainted with campus ministry and in addition to parish responsibilities, served as "contact pastor" for the denomination. He then served in Toledo, Ohio at Glenwood Lutheran Church and from there was called to Zion Lutheran Church in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Again, in addition to parish duties he helped establish a Lutheran campus center adjacent to the campus of Indiana State University, Pennsylvania. From there he was called to be the Lutheran Campus Pastor at San Jose State where he served from 1964 to 1979, a time in which he and other clergy at the campus were instrumental in establishing the Religious Studies Program at the university. Roy taught as "dollar-a-year" man, along with a few other campus pastors, until the program was firmly established. It was also during that period that Roy and his colleagues established a coffee house named Jonah's Wail at the Campus Christian Center near the campus of SJSU. The setting was a stimulating gathering place for the discussion of religion, music, poetry, and issues of war and peace. In 1979 Roy was called to Reformation Lutheran Church, Milpitas, CA, where he served until his retirement in 1988.

Pastor Hoch became a member of St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, Santa Cruz, but continued to serve parishes upon invitation as supply pastor, teacher and worship leader. He served on the council of the Lutheran Campus Ministry of Monterey Bay and met regularly with local pastors for text study. He volunteered for Friends Outside for many years and in 2004 and 2012 received the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center. He served on the Bioethics Committee and later on the Institutional Review Board of Dominican Hospital.

Roy's interest in athletics continued through the years. He participated in the Sentinel Triathlon, was a member of Santa Cruz Masters and in 2009 was a U.S. Masters Swimming All American, being number one in his age group, nationally, in the One Hour Postal Swim.

He was a loving father, grandfather, friend, mentor, theologian and a lifelong scholar. He will always be remembered as a man of faith, peace, compassion, and social justice.

A funeral service will be held at Christ the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church 1550 Meridian Ave, San Jose, CA., on Sunday February 18, 2018 at 3:00 pm. He will be interred there in the columbarium next to his wife. Memorials may be sent to the Lutheran School of Theology Chicago, Lutheran Campus Ministry of Monterey Bay, Bread for Life or Santa Cruz Volunteer Center.