By Paula @ Holiday World

When I heard Philip Koch had signed paperwork to have his organs donated upon his death, it brought tears to my eyes.

How many of us intend to do that, but somehow never get it done?

Philip passed away early this morning, surrounded by his family. He was only 47. And we will miss him.

As one of Santa's grandchildren, Philip took Christmas very seriously. As he worked to turn Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort into the world-class campground it is today, he was also planning to bring Christmas back to the town of Santa Claus in a big way. A huge Christmas store, a month-long Christmas festival, an incredible drive-through attraction for families to enjoy together.

Philip Koch with his grandfather, Santa Jim

This sweet photo of Santa Jim and Philip was taken on this exact date back in 1970.

The good folks at the campground posted about Philip's legacy here on their blog. As a true believer in the kind and giving spirit of Christmas, Philip's legacy includes the gift of life to others.

The Holiday World family will miss his sense of humor, creativity, and booming “ho-ho-ho” at Christmastime.

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