Ararat theatre community fixture Doug Koschel dies aged 74 after a battle with brain cancer

ARARAT’S theatre scene and the community as a whole is in mourning for Doug Koschel, who died on Friday aged 74 after a battle with brain cancer.

Mr Koschel moved to Ararat in 2004 having already been involved in acting in Wodonga, Wangaratta and Beechworth.

Ararat Theatre Company president Charlie Millear said soon after arriving, Mr Koschel’s acting bug returned and he joined the company to be a part of the end of year show. 

“Since then he had been constantly involved and contributing to the company in both One Act Plays and the end of year shows as an actor, director, vocalist, committee member, secretary, public officer, editor for the newsletter, festival compere and all round good guy,” Mr Millear said.

“Such is his passion for acting and music, he quickly joined Ararat Musical Comedy Society and has filled a number of roles with them as well. 

“He sang with Sing Australia and purchased a guitar to learn and complement his vast selection of music at home.

“We are all very sad and he will be greatly missed.”

Patricia Joy ran tours of J-Ward ghost tours with Mr Koschel for five years and helped organise a benefit concert for him in August to raise money for a dream trip to his ancestral home of Ireland

“Doug didn’t get to Ireland, of course, which is really sad,” Ms Joy said.

“Doug was a very theatrical person and any ghost tour that was supposed to be three hours was usually four if Doug was running it.

“He took hours to tell stories. He was just a really active, good person within the community. 

“He will be missed as he was a great character.”

The money will now go towards helping Mr Koschel’s wife Gerri with funeral expenses. 

The organisers wished to thank everybody who contributed.

This story Ararat mourns theatre enthusiast Doug Koschel | Photos first appeared on The Ararat Advertiser.

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