Jeffrey Thomas (Jeff) Kochelek, age 67, lover and dreamer, passed into the Hope of Christ's Resurrection on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at his home in Dripping Springs, Texas, after the sudden onset of symptoms from undiscovered advanced metastatic melanoma.
Jeff, survived by his patient and devoted best friend, advocate, and wife of 45 years, Mary Kochelek, was the loving and proud father and father-in-law of Douglas (Emily Bennett) Kochelek and Evan Kochelek and doting grandfather of Grace, Teddy, Claire, and Caroline. He was a loving brother, uncle, cousin, and friend to many.
Jeff loved. He loved life, family, friends, co-workers, pets, animals, trees, cars, work. He saw the possibility in the world around him and was unintimidated by its potential.
Jeff delighted in creative ventures. He designed and built two homes and numerous small projects and renovations; he improved every property he ever owned. He rebuilt 1970s muscle cars. Jeff was a consummate problem-solver and tackled projects and problems with unbridled enthusiasm and limitless energy. He was a prolific inventor, named on dozens of patents. He was a resilient optimist who built and grew businesses, led the charge to change industries, and even incorporated a city. He dedicated the last decade and a half of his career to realizing his transformative vision for Engineered Corrosion Solutions and was immensely proud of its fruition.
Jeff also valued simplicity. He loved spending time in the country and loved his border collies, Truman and Gibson, his sheep, and the native birds of St. Louis, Dripping, and Doss which he fed regularly, especially the seasonal hummers.
A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at Spazio Westport, 12031 Lackland Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63146. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Tunnel to Towers Foundation (https://t2t.org).
The family encourages anyone with a personal history of melanoma to speak with their doctor about incorporating periodic chest X-rays, CTs or PET imaging into their regular monitoring and check-ups. Melanoma is an aggressive form of cancer that can spread to internal organs and grow undetected. Routine skin checks are not enough.