Commander John E. Kohler, USN (Ret.) lost his battle with cancer on Sept. 15 at his home in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, with his loving wife Cheryl by his side. Born in Oakland, California, in 1943 to John and Virginia Kohler, John was the eldest of four children. He grew up in Marblehead, graduating in 1961 from Marblehead High School (MHS) as senior class president, president of the National Honor Society and a member of the championship football team. Lifelong friend and MHS classmate, Warren "Butch" Peabody, described John as "the genuine article: principled, warm, bright, witty, loving and of the highest standards." John was the last of two candidates nominated by then Sen. John F. Kennedy for admission to the United States Naval Academy (USNA). Upon his graduation from the USNA, John was selected for flight training and reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola where he met his future wife, Bonnie Lovelace. After earning his Wings of Gold, John returned to Pensacola as a flight instructor and married Bonnie in 1967. They were married for 39 years until her death in 2006. John served aboard the USS Kitty Hawk on Yankee Station in Vietnam where he flew the E-2 Tracker aircraft. He served as the Squadron Executive Officer in VRC-50 in the Philippines and again as Commanding Officer at the Navy Personnel Research and Development Center in San Diego. In 1987, he retired as a commander and then worked 13 years for Boeing Aircraft in the T-45 Development Training Program. John is survived by his two sons Karl (and his wife Stacy) and Kevin (and his wife Kristi); grandchildren Kaitlyn, Jessica, Evan John, Samuel and Thomas Kohler; his three sisters Mary MacAllister (and her husband Scott), Cheryll Saltzman (and her husband Stephen) of Marblehead, and Dianne Smith (and her late husband Kent) of Phoenix, Arizona; his wife of seven years Cheryl Parker Kohler; as well as loving nieces and nephews. A memorial service with full military honors was held at Christ of the Hills Methodist Church in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, on Saturday, Oct. 11, with internment of ashes following the service. - See more at:
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