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Peter Galt Kohler

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Kohler, Peter Galt Age 73, of Kohler, passed away Christmas morning, December 25, 2007, after a long, difficult struggle with Parkinson's disease. Born May 31, 1934 in Sheboygan, Peter was the youngest son of the late Carl James "Jim" Kohler and Dorothy Dings Kohler. Peter attended primary school at Kohler Public School, Kohler, WI, secondary school at Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, class of 1952, and attended Yale University, New Haven, CT, class of 1956, earning a B.S in Chemical Engineering. At Yale he was an active member of Beta Theta Pi, Alpha Chi Sigma and the Yale Engineering Association. On September 10, 1954, Peter married the love of his life, Nancy Bahler, of Sheboygan WI, at Dwayne Metropolitan Church in Greenwich Village, New York City. They became partners in life and love in every way from that day forward. Upon graduation from Yale, Peter and Nancy returned to Kohler with two young daughters and welcomed the youngest two in short succession. During this time Peter joined Kohler General Corp. of Sheboygan Falls with his father and brothers, where he became an infuential speaker and author within his industry. After serving in various capacities, Peter became Chairman and owner of Kohler General Corp., where he remained a passionate innovator and inspirational leader throughout his life. Peter Kohler was an extremely wise, generous and compassionate man who left many legacies, including love of his family, enduring friendships, industry leadership, and influential personality in the educational community and civic affairs. He gave freely of his time and talents to many organizations, including: Regent Emeritus of Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE): Chairman, Deferred Giving Endowment Program, served on the Campaign Committee to raise 22.8 million dollars for this high quality small Wisconsin Engineering College; Director Emeritus and Trustee and Past President of the Sheboygan County YMCA; former Director of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; Past President of the Sheboygan Economics Club; a member of the Advisory Board of the Council for Business and Economics, Lakeland College; and a Former Director of the Wisconsin State Council on Economics Education. Peter was also an ardent Republican who highly valued his country and its freedom., He served as Campaign Director for Congressman William A. Steiger from 1971-1996, Finance Chairman, Sheboygan County Republic Party from 1985-1988, State Finance Chairman for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice L.J. Ceci in 1984, and served on the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Wisconsin from 1961-1963 and again from 1969-1971. He was also District Chairman and Treasurer of Wisconsin Sixth District Republican Party from 1971-1974, the Executive Committee of the National Young Republicans from 1963-1969, and received the Wisconsin Jaycees Five Outstanding Young Men Award Recipient in 1969. Peter was an avid sailor and navigator, and as a member of the Sheboygan Yacht Club, he served as Co-Chair of the Pier Capital Campaign in 1986 , the Building Capital Campaign of 1987, and Chairman of the Endowment Committee. As an instrument-rated pilot, Peter flew for business and pleasure, and was a member of the Aircraft Owners and Operators Association. He was also an active member of the Union League Club of Chicago, an honored soccer coach, an avid runner, and most of all, a sought-out and respected advisor of many. He is survived by his wife, Nancy, four daughters, Linda (Lonny) Lentz, Cynthia Jetzer, Dorothy (Kevin) Calcaterra and Jennifer (Barret) Johnson, and eight grandchildren, Mae Lentz, Brianne Yonke, Courtney (Adam) Heronymous, Christopher, Catherine and Cassandra Calcaterra, and Monica and Evalise Johnson. The family would also like to mention James Andrew Bednall, who joined them as an AFS student in 1972 and has remained, with his children Cassandra and Alexander, close personal friends of Peter and his family. Service for Peter G. Kohler will take place at 4:00 PM on Saturday, January 5, 2008 at Ebenezer United Church of Christ, 3215 Saemann Avenue, Sheboygan. The service will be officiated by his pastor and friend, Rev, Tom Schroeder of Grace United Church of Christ, Kohler. Family and friends are welcome at the church on Saturday from 2:00 PM until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in his name through Grace United Church of Christ, Kohler. Condolences may be emailed to the family at: [email protected] The Lippert-Olson Funeral Home, 1132 Superior Ave. Sheboygan, WI 53081 has been entrusted with Peter's arrangements.
Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Dec. 30, 2007
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