In Memoriam Chuck Koch

Friday, April 07, 2023 3:59 PM | Michelle Suzuki (Administrator)

It is with an amalgam of appreciation, respect, melancholy and sadness that we advise the passing of Chuck Koch, longtime and founding MPG member. He was born in Glendale, California on April 11, 1946, passing away of natural cause on January 6, 2023.  Chuck spent his virtually his entire adult working career in automotive journalism and public relations; earning serious chops on both sides of that aisle.

Charles Frederick Koch was an LA area guy, and car guy, from the beginning, growing up in the San Fernando Valley areas of Burbank and Van Nuys, California. Prior to its current location in Malibu, Pepperdine University was located in Watts, and is where Chuck earned his BA degree in Journalism.  He ultimately landed at Petersen Publishing Company becoming a staff features editor at Motor Trend, although he occasionally contributed to other titles.  It was there that he deeply connected with MT’s Editor in Chief, the late Eric Dahlquist, Sr., forging a lifelong friendship and working relationship.  When Dahlquist elected to leave Petersen and form his own media relations and product placement firm, Vista Group, Koch joined him in that pursuit.  During his decades long career in PR, Chuck worked with many clients, including nearly all GM divisions, in the launch of countless new vehicles and the execution of events.  He was also involved in several motorsports promotion activities.

Chuck was on deck for the formation of the organization -- International Motor Press Association West -- that ultimately grew into today’s Motor Press Guild.  He was a longtime board member and officer considered by many to be a somewhat conservative but always thoughtful voice of logic in MPG operations;. During my decade on the MPG board, including my time as President and Vice President, Chuck was on the board the entire time, and always supported and promoted the organization.

Koch never married, although he engaged in several long term relationships over time, and had no children. At his passing he was 76. Any donations in his name may be made to Parkinson's Resource Organization in his honor, as Chuck was one of the founders of this organization.  A memorial service will be held at his church, Calvary Presbyterian in Glendale at 11:00 am on March 11th, 2023.

Rest In Speed, Brother Chuck

Picture 1

Matt Stone, Camarillo, California

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