Edward Francis Koca (Ed), 66, Milo, passed away Sept. 27, 2017, at his home near Virgil City. Ed was born Feb. 18, 1951, in Nevada to Francis Martin Koca and Clara Harding Koca. When Ed was a baby, he moved with his parents to Wichita, KS, where his dad worked at Boeing Aircraft. The family then moved to the farm near Virgil City where Ed spent his childhood.
Ed found his love of art early on and was an awesome artist in grade school and high school. He got involved in speech in high school. Ed graduated from El Dorado Springs High School in 1969 and attended School of the Ozarks (College of the Ozarks) graduating with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Speech in 1973. Ed excelled at School of the Ozarks starting as an art major and then finding his real niche in theater, where he starred in a number of theater productions, including his most memorable role as Elwood P. Dowd in the play Harvey. At School of the Ozarks, Ed became involved in radio and worked as a disc jockey at the college radio station, as well as an artist at the sign shop.
After college, Ed worked as a disc jockey at the radio station in Branson. While there, he met Kathy Jo Hathcock, then a student at School of the Ozarks. Ed and Kathy married on June 5, 1976, shortly after Kathy graduated from College of the Ozarks, and they just celebrated their 41st year of marriage this year. If you asked Ed when his anniversary was he would tell you, “It is the day after the 4th of July, except in June.” After marriage, Ed and Kathy moved to Greenfield living in an apartment above the radio station where Ed worked. They lived for a short time in Owensville, MO, and then moved back to Greenfield.
Adam and Lara were born shortly after moving back to Greenfield. Ed became involved in community theatre in Greenfield, writing and directing his own plays. Community theatre in Greenfield was a family affair, and Ed always had the whole family involved in some way.
Ed was always creative, whether it was writing his own plays, writing crazy poems, or drawing cartoons, which he sold to newspapers and magazines. The whole family looked forward to getting one of his crazy and unique cards for their birthday, anniversary or the holidays.
Ed has written many plays including: Three Women Named Dave, The Underwater Ranch of Wet Cows, Goode or Badde: It’s a Melodrama, The Happy Little Puppy from the Vampire Planet, and many, many more.
Ed has worked at a number of radio stations including: KSOZ in School of Ozarks, KIRK FM in Branson, KZNN/KTTR in Rolla, KRFG in Greenfield, K-LITE in Mt. Vernon, and KRWP (KRLK) in Stockton. Ed started working at the radio station KRLK in Stockton in 1999, where he never fully retired. Kathy then later joined him at the station where they worked together for 18 years. The station later became 107.7 KRWP The Lake, where Ed had a morning show called Tradio. Ed always said he was just a disc jockey, but he was much, much more than that. He entertained his listeners every morning with trivia and fun facts.
Ed was preceded in death by his parents, Francis and Clara Koca.
Ed is survived by his wife, Kathy Koca; son, Adam, and wife, Sarah Koca; daughter, Lara, and husband, Craig Marple; sister, Cheryl, and husband, Jeff Davis; adopted daughter, Hope, and husband, Dan Janes; grandchildren – Ethan Walker, Jaxson Janes, Sophia Janes, Arwen Koca and Killian Janes; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Ed’s motto was similar to a quote from Elwood P. Dowd, from the play Harvey: “I always have a wonderful time, wherever I am, whomever I’m with.”
A celebration of life honoring Ed Koca was held on Saturday, Sept. 30, in Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home. Kevin McNeely and James Hathcock officiated. Heather Hathcock provided music. Final disposition was cremation under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.
Memorial donations may be made to Grace Methodist Church and left at the funeral home.
Online condolences may be left at: www.blandhackleman.com.