Kohler, Nancy B.
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Nancy B. Kohler, age 79, who died peacefully in her sleep at Libby's House, Plymouth, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Nancy was the loving daughter of Myna and Dean Bahler of Sheboygan, and the adoring wife of Peter G. Kohler of Kohler, Wisconsin, who have all predeceased Nancy. She attended Sheboygan public schools and the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where she received a BA in Philosophy and a Masters in Philosophy of Education.
In 1954 Nancy met the love of her life, Peter Kohler while Peter was home on a visit from Yale. They were married on September 10, 1954 in Greenwich Village, New York City, and returned to New Haven where they welcomed two daughters, Linda and Cynthia. After Peter's graduation from Yale, Nancy and Peter returned to Kohler and soon their family grew further with the birth of two more daughters, Dorothy and Jennifer.
Nancy was passionate about her family, her children and her grandchildren. With her children she participated in numerous school activities, was active in the PTO, attended all games and sports activities and was Chairman of the Kohler Girl Scout Council. For her grandchildren she often attended activities, driving or flying to do so, and was always there with a laugh, a word of wisdom or a shoulder of support. Her energy, love of others and exuberance for fun was contagious with all ages.
Nancy also believed that giving back was a part of life. While raising her four daughters, Nancy was an extraordinarily active member of the community and held many positions of leadership in civic, non-profit and charitable organizations. To name only a few, Nancy was the first female Rotarian and the first female President of the Rotary Club of Sheboygan County. She was also a Kohler Village Board Trustee, Chairman of the Kohler American Field Service Organization, Chairman of the Greater Sheboygan Forum, Board Member and Chairman of the Sheboygan Rehabilitation Center Endowment Trust Fund Drive, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Sheboygan Planned Parenthood, Vice-Chairman of the Sheboygan Service Club and the Chair of many committees, and Board Member of Sheboygan County Landmarks, Ltd. She was also very active in the Kohler Public Schools and improving the educational system in Wisconsin.
As a lifelong supporter of the Republican Party Nancy chaired numerous committees for the local, State and National Republican Parties, was elected Board Member of the Sheboygan County Republican Party, and assisted Peter as Campaign Manager for the successful bids of U.S. Congressman William A. Steiger and Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis J. Cici, all the while ably assisted by her family in stuffing many, many envelopes for Republican campaign mailings.
As her children grew, Nancy decided to return to College, earning her undergraduate degree in Philosophy and her Masters in Philosophy of Education with Honors from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where upon graduation and promptly served as a member of the Programs and Awards committees and on the UWM Alumni Board. She worked for two years as a Licensed Real Estate Securities Representative for Sheltered Investments, Inc. in Sheboygan Wisconsin, before becoming a Licensed Real Estate Broker in Kohler and Sheboygan for almost 30 years, ultimately co-owning Three Oaks Realty in Sheboygan.
Nancy's numerous recognitions and awards include: Outstanding Woman of the Year, Sheboygan County Jaycees; Outstanding Young Republican and Delegate for the Republican National Convention supporting Barry Goldwater, 1964; Wisconsin Realtor of the Year; Community Service Leadership Award, City of Sheboygan; and Outstanding Achievement Award, Rehabilitation Center of Sheboygan/Sheboygan Falls.
Nancy is also well known in the community for her dedication and passionate commitment to Meals on Wheels, where she actively delivered meals and hugs on a regular basis and co-founded the annual "Love Bowls" fundraiser. She also co-founded the Sheboygan County Festival of Trees, and was an active Member of the John Michael Kohler Art Center.
On a personal level, Nancy had many friends and many interests. She had a true love of others and was a very close, loyal and giving friend. She loved entertaining, discussing politics and challenging the strength of one's beliefs. She relished travel and history, particularly the history of Kohler, Sheboygan and Wisconsin, and she enjoyed art of all forms, music, theater and antiques. She was very active and healthy her whole life, and enjoyed racquetball, cycling and eventually walking. And she particularly loved to dance. Above all, Nancy loved being a mother, a grandmother, and a true partner to Peter.
Nancy is survived by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Jennifer (Barret) Johnson, Monica and Evalise of Connecticut; Dorothy Calcaterra, Christopher, Catherine and Cassandra, and Kevin Calcaterra of Colorado and Illinois; Cynthia (Joe Leitner) Jetzer, Courtney (Adam) Heronymous, Ella and Cael of Wisconsin; Linda (Lonny) Lentz, Brianne (Michael) Vergurgt and Trinity, Mae Lentz and Kaley of Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan. The family would also like to mention James Andrew (Christine) Bednall, who joined them as an AFS student from Australia in 1972 and has remained, with his children Cassandra and Alexander, a part of the family.
A Memorial Service for Nancy will take place at 4:00pm, Saturday, March 15, 2014 at Ebenezer United Church of Christ, 3215 Saemann Ave, Sheboygan Wis. Visitation will be from 2:00-4:00 pm prior to the service at the same location.
The family has requested that any contributions be made on her behalf to Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County or the Alzheimer's Foundation.
Our family would also like to thank Dianna McLaughlin for her loving care and support as Nancy's friend and caretaker over the Years. And a special Thank You to the staff at Libby's House for taking care of, dancing with and truly loving Nancy for the last few years of her life.
Olson Funeral Home & Cremation Service
1132 Superior Ave. Sheboygan, WI 53801
Published in Sheboygan Press on Mar. 9, 2014