Kenneth Lee Kohler, 87, of Charlotte, North Carolina was born on May 30, 1934 in Ord, Nebraska to Ruby Kirk Kohler and E.Lee Kohler. He was called Kenneth by his mother, Ken by co-workers, Kenny by his brothers and some other relatives, and Papa by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was raised in Beatrice, Nebraska and graduated from Beatrice Public Schools. In high school he was active on the men's gymnastics team. Upon graduation from high school in 1952 he entered the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. In March of 1954 he entered the Army as a Private and Field Radio Repairman where he served until March 1956 when he returned to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1959. While at the University he was a member of the men’s gymnastics team and specialized on the side horse (now known as the pummel horse); for which he lettered in ‘57-’58-’59. He also served in the Army Reserves from March 1956 until March of 1962.
On March 2, 1958 he married Patricia Rae Stalder and together they had three children: Terry, Jackie and Kelly. Patricia died in 1968 from complications with Lupus. Kenneth taught High School History in Grand Island, NE before changing careers and working for General Dynamics. On February 14, 1969 he married Judykay Fisher in Omaha, Nebraska. Another career change resulted in him becoming Operations Director for Hillhaven Corporation where he had oversight of several nursing homes in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa.
Kenneth enjoyed watching a variety of sports but attending Husker football games was his favorite activity. He was an avid reader, loved to garden and enjoyed spending time with family. He is preceded in death by his parents and wives - Patricia Kohler and Judykay Kohler. He is survived by sons: Terry of Humboldt, NE and Kelly (Carla) of Lenexa, KS; daughter, Jackie of Charlotte; sister, Marlene Christenson of Beatrice, NE; brothers, Norval (Sue) Kohler of Wymore, NE and Larry Kohler of Carlsberg, Germany, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and other relatives. His greatest joy was spending time with his grandchildren: Courtney (Agustin) Martinez of Lee’s Summit, MO; Kayd (Kalie) Kohler of Omaha, NE; Jared (Maggi) Kohler of Falls City, NE; Rhiannon Kohler of Falls City, NE and Grace Kohler of Charlotte, NC; and great-grandchildren: Evalynn Martinez, Hank Kohler (Rhiannon) and JJ Kohler (Jared/Maggi) with a fourth one due in April of this year (Courtney and Agustin).
Kenneth was a member of University City United Methodist Church and was active in the Covenant Keepers Sunday school class. He also took great pleasure in helping teach the pre-school Sunday school class. Before his health declined, he participated in the Men’s Huddle Up Group.