ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, N.J. - Kenneth J. Kociela, 64, died Monday, Sept. 2, 2013.
He was born in Northampton, Mass., raised in Hatfield, Mass., and lived for the past 37 years in Atlantic Highlands, N.J.
He graduated high school at Smith Academy in Hatfield, Mass., and received a bachelor's degree in wildlife biology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 1972 he married Donna, his high school sweetheart. In 1984 he graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a master's in public administration. He also completed post graduate work at Temple University.
He spent over 35 years as a federal civil servant in a number of security and intelligence positions for a variety of federal defense and intelligence agencies. He retired in 2007 as the director for intelligence (G2) for the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) at Fort Monmouth, N.J. He worked closely with regional security and intelligence leaders as a member of the FBI-Newark Joint Terrorism Task Force Advisory Panel.
He was an avid outdoors man who enjoyed fresh and saltwater fly fishing, trap and skeet shooting, bow hunting, cycling, hiking and bird watching. He was a life member of Trout Unlimited. His other affiliations included Bayshore Saltwater Fly Fishermen, Central Jersey Rifle and Pistol Club, New Jersey Audubon, American Littoral Society, and he was a member of the Atlantic Highlands Environmental Commission.
His hiking adventures with his brother Mike, included trips out west to climb Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, and Mount Whitney in California, the tallest mountain in the continental U.S. His cycling adventures included the participation in two 'Ride the Rockies' bike tours in Colorado sponsored by the Denver Post and once in the Mount Washington Hill Climb Race in New Hampshire. He also enjoyed fishing trips to Andros Island, Bahamas, for bonefish, New Brunswick, Canada, for Atlantic salmon with his dad and brother Chris, and trout fishing with his dad and brothers Mike and Chris in a wide range of fabled rivers on both the east and west coasts.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 41 years, Donna; by his devoted mother Rachel; and by his two brothers, Michael and his wife Mary and Christopher and his wife Kim; his father-in-law William Symanski; two brothers-in-law, Billy and his wife Suzy and Mark and his partner Sheila; and a number of special nieces and a nephew.
Per his wishes, he will be cremated and his ashes spread on a favorite trout stream.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 10:30 a.m. at the Drozdal Funeral Home of Northampton. The family will receive friends from 9 a.m. till the time of the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The National Audubon Society, The American Littoral Society of New Jersey, The
or The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Sept. 7, 2013