Frederick William Koch III, 76, engineer, designed Columbia's electrical supply system


Frederick William Koch III, a retired Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. engineer who designed Columbia's electrical supply system, died Tuesday of an infection at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 76. He lived in New Freedom, Pa., and had a second home on St. Simons Island, Ga.

In conjunction with Rouse Co., he designed and supervised installation of the underground electrical and gas systems for Columbia in the mid-1960s.

A decade earlier, he was responsible for designing the move of downtown Baltimore's power cables to make way for the construction of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.

Born in Baltimore, he was raised in Forest Park and was a graduate of Polytechnic Institute, where he won the Principal's Award for outstanding academic achievement. He also ran track and played football.

He entered the Army and served as a first lieutenant in the Signal Corps. He served in Japan in the occupation forces and was discharged with the rank of second lieutenant. He also served in the Maryland National Guard from 1949 to 1955.

In 1948, he earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University. He also attended the Johns Hopkins University's McCoy College.

Mr. Koch joined BGE in the late 1940s and remained there until 1987, when he retired as general supervisor of underground electrical line standards.

For many years, he volunteered with Boy Scout Troop 612 at Grace Methodist Church in Homeland. In 1966, the Boy Scouts of America awarded him a leadership plaque for his work with BGE's merit badge program. The following year, he was given the Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to the Boy Scout movement.

A student of U.S. history, he read biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Lindbergh, two of his heroes.

A member of the First Church of Christ Scientist, he served on several of its committees and boards. He also was a member and former president of the Cornell Club of Maryland.

Since 1960, he had been a member of the National Electrical Safety Code Committee and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Mr. Koch enjoyed model railroading, outdoor yard work and camping.

A golfer, he was a member of the Bon Aire Country Club in New Freedom and Sea Palms Country Club on St. Simons Island.

In 1949, he married Leonora Stauffen, who survives him.

Funeral services were held yesterday.

He also is survived by two sons, William Bradford Koch Sr. of the Lakehurst section of Baltimore County and Randall Charles Koch of Reisterstown; a daughter, Linda Koch Heddleson of Palo Alto, Calif.; and six grandchildren.

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