It is sometimes said that as people age they often become crotchety, demanding and inflexible. Not so with Frank Kohler. Amidst numerous health adversities, spread over two decades of time, Frank exhibited a warm, caring and lovable spirit. So much so that the staff at West Lake Health Campus, where he spent the last 17 months of his life, were crying and grieving along with the family as he passed from this life. "We loved him," they said, "he was so sweet. He was surrounded by pictures of his wife June, the love of his life, as well as his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He loved to talk about them and was so proud of them.
"The only son of Frank John Kohler, from Hungary, and Barbara Martin, from Austria, Frank (or "Johnny" as many knew him in his younger days) grew up in Detroit with his sister, Barbara. After leaving school, he joined the U.S. Army Infantry where, in a parachuting accident, he sustained severed nerves in his back and shoulder injuries. He was shipped back to the U.S. for hospitalization in three different hospitals over the next two years time.
He was a self-taught man whose determination, persistence and curiosity caused him to work on problems until they were solved. These qualities enabled him to rise in his field and be awarded many distinctions and awards from Chevrolet and General Motors. One such award occurred in 1984 when he worked so diligently that he won round-trip tickets to
Hong Kong for him and June.
In 2004, on their fiftieth wedding anniversary, he and June renewed their marriage vows at Ward Church surrounded by family and friends. June's death in April, 2011, was a stunning loss and Frank's health issues resulted in changing his lifestyle. He adapted as well as possible keeping a sweet spirit and flexible attitude. His children Paula (Bob) Rowland, Pamela (Tim) Smith, Denita-June (Patrick) Connor, Barbara Kohler-Bain, and Ralph John Kohler, were blessed by his love and life
and will miss him terribly.
Proverbs 17:6 states, "Children's children are a crown to the aged" and this proved true for Frank. His grandchildren ~ Kristin (Byron) List, Amber (Squire) Broel, Shanna Connor, Erin Connor (Ian Johnson), Andrew Bain, Jenifer "Alex" Bain, Devon Smith, Colin Smith, Derek (Michelle) Rowland, David Rowland (Mandy Long), Kimberly (James) Hooper ~ brought him great joy. And when grand-children have children . . . well, what a thrill! Madison, Skylar and Braeden List, Rome and Noa Grace Broel, Austen and Kai Connor-Johnson, Kaelyn and Madisyn Rowland completed his "crown."
Frank left a legacy of love and commitment to all of us.
Frank's family will receive friends on Tuesday February 26, 2013 from 2-9 with memorial/eulogy service 7:30 pm at the Harry J. Will Funeral Home, 37000 Six Mile Rd. (north side of Six Mile, east of I-275 and Newburgh Rd.) in Livonia.
His life will be celebrated with a Funeral Service officiated by Pastor David Owens on Wednesday February 27, 2013 at 11 am at Ward Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 40000 Six Mile Rd. (north side of Six Mile, west of Haggerty Rd.) in Northville. Frank will lie in state at the church on Wednesday beginning at 10 am.
Frank will be laid to rest next to his wife June at Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit.
In lieu of flowers donations appreciated to Disabled American Veterans or a charity of your choice.