Published January 22, 2021

MELROSE — Arnold T. Koch, 90, of Melrose died on Jan. 13, 2021.

His career in public relations spanned 40 years developing and implementing regional and national public relations programs for a wide range of Fortune 100 and 500 companies. He also provided public relations counsel and support for a variety of smaller start-up professional service firms, government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

His public relations career began with the General Electric Company and lasted 12 years, including working with the media during the early days of the space program, and later on the Gemini Spacecraft Fuel Cell program at GE-Lynn. He was a graduate of the General Electric Professional Management Course and the Sales Analysis Institute.

Later he headed up the public relations department of Culver Advertising in Boston and then as executive vice president and part owner of Newsome and Company, New England’s largest public relations firm. When the firm was acquired by Hill and Knowlton, the world’s largest public relations firm, he became a vice president and later a senior consultant. Prior to retirement in 1994, he served in the Weld Administration for four years as communications director for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

Koch was an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and a member of the Counselors Academy. He was a past president of the Publicity Club of New England, past president of the Rotary Club of Boston, and on the editorial board of the New England Board of Higher Education. He also served as public relations chairman, Small Business Association of New England; district chairman, Public Relations Society of America; board member, Whittier St. Neighborhood Health Center; District Representative, Phi Delta Theta Fraternity; and served on the Massachusetts Bar Association Public Image Task Force.

Koch was a regular columnist for the Melrose Free Press, Melrose Weekly News, the Boston Business Journal and Ad East Magazine. He graduated from Colgate University in 1953 and attended Columbia University Law School before being drafted in the U.S. Army, where he served as a code interceptor with the Army Security Agency.

For many years, as a sideline, he managed major jazz artists who appeared in major clubs around the country, including the 1964 New York World’s Fair; and television shows such as “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts,” where he was the winning talent scout; “Arthur Godfrey & His Friends,” “Chance of A Life Time,” and “Hootenany.” He was on the Advisory Committee of the American Big Band Preservation Society.

A resident of Melrose since 1965, he was a past president of the Citywide PTA, vice president of the Melrose High School PTA, former deacon, First Congregational Church, and, for 10 years, chairman, Melrose Republican City Committee. In 1976, he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention.

Besides his wife Larisa, he leaves two sons, Carter Koch of Millis and Chris Koch of Los Angeles. His eldest son, Jeffrey Koch, died in 1993. He also leaves his daughters Jennifer Lutz of Dennis and Katerina Avramenko of Swampscott. Also, eight grandchildren: Eric, Allison and Stuart Parker, Molly and Cynthia Koch, Mimi and Meseret Koch, Nicholas and Andrew Avramenko, as well as his former wife, Lenore Tagan of Harwichport.

Services and burial will be private. Contributions in Arnold’s name may be made to the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, Box 760715, Melrose, MA 02176.