Obituary of Gary J. Kohler Sr.
It is with great sadness that the family of Gary J. Kohler Sr. announce his passing. At age 75, after a brave struggle with many years of health issues, he passed and is now home is God’s loving arms. Gary was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He graduated in 1961 from Waukesha High South Campus and retired from Crown, Cork & Seal Co., Inc. after 24 years.
Gary loved racing and it has always been part of his life. He built his first dirt track car #44 and raced it all over Wisconsin. His love for racing never ceased and to many close friends he was called “Kohlerbear.” After retiring, Gary took up racing again by joining late model racing with David Russell Automotive and then the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series with Pete Orr where he traveled throughout the NASCAR circuit.
Gary loved his family most of all and has an amazing legacy through them – three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandsons. They all were a big part of his life. Gary was always there to offer advice and ask questions.
Gary leaves behind his wife, Paula (Horn) of 54 years, sister, Helen Schultz of Waukesha, WI, daughters, Penny Mander (m. David) and Peggy Hughley (m. Ken), of Winter Springs, FL, and son, Gary Kohler Jr. (m. Jackie), of Hartland, WI, and his grandchildren and great-grandsons. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Paul Kohler and Dorothy Dunn Kohler, his brother Paul Kohler, and sisters, Grace Bagnall and Mary Lynn McHugh.
The visitation for Gary will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 225 S. Hartwell Ave., Waukesha, WI 53186, with a funeral mass following at 11:00 a.m. The Rev. Chuck Wrobel will be officiating. Gary will be laid to rest at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Waukesha, WI. A memorial service will be held at the chapel of St. Stephen Catholic Community in Winter Springs, Florida on June 1, 2019 at 10:00 am.