In Memory

Donald Koehler - Class Of 1944 VIEW PROFILE

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Donald "Don" Koehler

August 15, 1926 - July 14, 2017

90, passed away July 13, 2017 after a brief battle with cancer. Donald N. Koehler was born of Norman and Linda Koehler on August 15, 1926. Don went to Wright Street School, Hi Mount, Stephen Jr. High and Washington High School, graduating in June 1944. He joined the Naval Reserve in January 1943 and was called to active duty in July 1944. After WWII he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee (UWM), transferring to UW in Madison in 1947 and graduating in Mechanical Engineering in 1949. Don married Eunice Euler shortly after graduation and they recently celebrated their 68thanniversary on July 10, 2017.

Shortly after marrying Eunice, Don started working at Milwaukee Gas Light Company, (later becoming Wisconsin Gas Company). Don was instrumental in starting “Diggers Hotline” in Wisconsin in 1976, a service that helped identify and prevent damage to underground utilities prior to digging. After 38 years of dedicated work, he retired as General Manager of Administrative Services.

Don also served 21 years in the U.S. Naval Reserves retiring as a Lt. Commander. He served at the Training Reserve Center in Milwaukee monthly and on various ships during his annual call up for training service.

Don spent many years as the Scoutmaster for Troop 74 and later on became the Explorer Post 74 Advisor at Holy Cross. Both Don & his wife Eunice attended the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, which provided unforgettable advanced training and adventure for leaders. He helped to shape many boys lives to become fine men who continued to show their love and respect for Don throughout his life.

Originally members of Reformation Lutheran Church on 35th Street in Milwaukee, Don, Eunice and their two sons moved to Menomonee Falls in 1956 and became members of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Don spent countless hours serving Holy Cross in many aspects of the church, including church council, twice being elected Vice President. He also taught Sunday School and oversaw the rental of buses to use as classrooms for over 1000 children for Sunday School in the 1960’s, also serving as Lay Assistant, Reader, Usher and Head Usher for years, to name a few. Don served on basically every committee at Holy Cross except for the Property committee.

In retirement Don chose to use his time to volunteer. This he did as a water safety instructor in adaptive aquatics at the Tri-County YMCA for 22 years where was awarded Volunteer of the Year in 1994. He was also a Store Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) counselor for 15 years and a volunteer in various capacities at Luther Manor from 1988 until early 2017 accumulating over 5,000 hours of service. He was well liked and loved by many of the staff at Luther Manor, always having a smile, a kind word and a joke for all.

Don and Eunice had two sons, Tom and Rick, each of whom became Certified Public Accountants (CPA). Sadly, Tom died in 2006 (survived by wife Sandy) while Rick went on to achieve a high level local government position in California. Don is survived by Eunice, son Rick and wife Geri, 4 grandchildren and 9 ½ great-grandchildren. Don’s legacy is continued on by his son, daughter in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren whose lives were greatly touched by this man.

Services will be held at Luther Manor Faith and Education Center, 4545 North 92nd Street, Wauwatosa on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Gathering will be from 2:30 PM until the 3:30 PM memorial service. (From 92nd Street, Use North Entrance to Luther Manor)

A Celebration of Life will be held at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, W156 N8131 Pilgrim Road, Menomonee Falls on Saturday, July 29, 2017. Gathering will be from 11:00 AM until the 12:00 PM service, starting with full Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorials appreciated to Holy Cross Lutheran Church or the special angels who cared for Don and his family at Luther Manor Hospice.

Click here to see Donald's last Profile entry.