James Koehlert

James Gordon Koehlert

1932 - 2006

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Obituary of James Gordon Koehlert

James (“Jim”) was born on January 29, 1932 in Greenwich, Connecticut. He passed away peacefully on May 31, 2006 at his home in Tacoma, WA surrounded by his loving family. Jim is survived by his wife of 14 years, Judy Koehlert of Tacoma, WA. He is also survived by one son, Marc (Marje) Koehlert of Erie, PA; one step-son, Casey Jackson of Tacoma, WA; and one brother, August (Linda) Koehlert of Edmonds, WA; three nephews, James, Skip and Peter; and two nieces Karen and Jill. In addition, Morris and Mildred Crider, father and mother-in-law; Ted and Betty Rzegocki, brother and sister-in-law; David and Susan Crider, brother and sister-in-law; and Melinda Barrow, sister-in-law, survive Jim. His two sisters, Ivy and Dale, preceded Jim in death. Jim was born to August Henry and Ivy Laurel Koehlert. He was the third of four children. He was raised in Greenwich and went on to Michigan State in 1950 to study physical education. In 1951, Jim decided to enlist in the Navy and was trained at Great Lakes Naval Station as a Frogman. While in the Navy, Jim performed a variety of tasks including participating in the demolition of icebergs that were obstructing the passageway for supply ships that were transporting construction equipment and materials necessary to construct the U.S. Air Force Base, Thule, in Greenland. While on duty in France, Jim met and married his first wife, Primerose Hiencz in August 1953. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1954. After his discharge from the Navy, Jim resided with Primerose in Connecticut until her death in 1978. He began working for Beiersdorf, Inc. (formerly Duke Laboratories) in Norwalk, CT in 1954 as a loading dock worker. During his tenure of 41 years at Beiersdorf, Jim went from a loading dock worker to a purchasing agent, then to an accountant, and then became a cost accountant for the company. He was sent by the company to Los Angeles, CA in 1978 and became the regional manager of distribution and sales; the region included 9 western states. In 1989 Jim moved to Reno, NV to head the Beiersdorf, Inc. regional distribution center until his retirement in 1995. On August 14, 1992, Jim married Judy Ann Crider. They met in Reno through a mutual friend. In 1995 Jim was diagnosed with Melanoma cancer. Jim and Judy came to Washington state for his treatment at the University of Washington / Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Jim’s cancer went into remission in April, 1996 and remained in remission until May, 2006. In the Spring of 1996, the Koehlerts bought a home in Tacoma, WA where Jim resided until his passing. In June, 1998, Jim began working with Hollander Investments as a security guard and continued in this employment until his passing. Jim and Judy were members of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Tacoma, WA. The Franciscan Hospice, under the auspices of the Franciscan Health System, in Tacoma, WA assisted Jim and his family in the final days before his passing. Edwards Memorial Center, University Place, WA arranged crematorial services. Jim’s final request was that there not be a memorial or funeral service.
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