ANN ARBOR, Mich. — John David Ochs, 68, passed away on Aug. 6, 2019, at his home near Ann Arbor, Mich.
He was born on Dec. 27, 1950, in Olney. John was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Susie Ochs; brother, Sylvan; and sister, Esther. He is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Susan Leben Ochs; brothers, Kenneth and Samuel (Debbie) Ochs; daughter, Katharine (Kyle) Bracken; granddaughter, Ella, and another granddaughter on the way.
He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1973, and soon went to work for the Bloomington Daily Pantagraph as a news reporter, worked as a farm editor for Illinois Farm Bureau, and then as press secretary for the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
In 1981 John and Susan moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for John Block, secretary of agriculture under President Ronald Reagan. He worked under the administration for eight years.
During his time with the federal government, he traveled all over the world with the Department of Agriculture. Stories he told of his experiences in various (and sometimes dangerous) areas of the world were fascinating. He was a gifted story teller and writer.
Following his time in Washington, D.C., he joined Ford Motor Company, eventually becoming director of public relations, moving to Lancaster County, Pa., and finally to Ann Arbor, Mich. He retired in 2003.
He was a proud member of the Fraternal Order of Police, NRA and the Michigan Farm Bureau. In 1985 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, and in 1986 received the Distinguished Service Award from the United States Department of Agriculture for his years of excellent service to our nation's agriculture industry.
Of all his major accomplishments, he was most proud of his family. He loved spending time with his wife, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. He especially cherished Sunday dinner with his family, and thoroughly enjoyed cooking for others in his retirement. He had a personality that was larger than life, and may be best known for his quick wit and impeccable sense of humor.
His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 26 at St. Joseph's Parish in Stringtown. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.